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Presented to the 

LIBRARY of the 
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 

by 
THE ESTATE OF THE LATE 



COL. R. S. TIMMIS, D.S.O, 



p^i 



THE HORSE IN HISTORY 



THE 

HORSE IN HISTORY 



BY 

BASIL TOZER 

AUTHOR OF 
' I'KACTICAL HINTS ON RIDING TO HOUNDS " ETC 



WITH TWENTY-FIVE ILLUSTRATIONS 



METHUEN & CO. 

36 ESSEX STREET W.C. 

LONDON 







^ "^^ 




SF 

Firsi Published in igo8 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE 

A FTER directly helping on the progress of 
the world and the development of civilisa- 
tion almost from the time when, according to 
Nehring's interesting studies, the wild and primi- 
tive horses of the great Drift began to exhibit 
distinct differences in make, shape and individual 
characteristics, the horse has reached the limit 
of its tether. 

For with the dawn of the twentieth century, 
and the sudden innovation of horseless traffic, 
any further influence that it might have exercised 
upon the advancement of the human race comes 
rapidly to a close. 

That the horse's reign is over — though it is 
sincerely to be hoped that horses will be with us 
still for many years — the statistics issued recently 
by our Board of Agriculture in a measure prove. 
For in those statistics it is stated that the number 
of horses in the United Kingdom decreased dur- 
ing last year alone by no less than 12,312, and late r 
statistics show that the decrease still continues. 



vi THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

In the following pages, therefore, the writer has 
striven to trace the progress of the horse from 
very early times down to the present day mainly 
from the standpoint of the effect its developm.ent 
had upon the advancement of the human race. 
For this reason though a selected number of 
the most famous horses that lived in the centuries 
before Christ, and between the time of Christ 
and the period of the Norman Conquest, and 
that have lived within the last nine centuries, 
have been mentioned, the horses of romance 
and mythology have for the most part been 
passed over. 

Every effort has been made to obtain informa- 
tion that is strictly accurate, a task of no small 
difficulty owing to the mass of contradictory 
evidence with which the writer has found himself 
confronted in the course of his researches. To 
the best of his ability he has winnowed the 
actual facts from the mass of fiction that he has 
come upon in the writings of some of the earlier 
historians, and to some extent in records, manu- 
scripts and private letters of more recent times 
to which he has had access. 

B. J. T. 

Boodle's Club, 1908. 



CONTENTS 

PART I 

FROM VERY EARLY TIMES TO THE CONQUEST 

CHAPTER 1 

PAGE 

Rameses ; early Egyptian chariots — Horses of Babylon 
and of Libya — Erichthonius ; horse of Job ; horses of 
Solomon — Early circus riding — Dancing horses of the 
Sybarites ; the Crotonians' stratagem — Homer's " Iliad" ; 
Menesthus ; early wagering — Patroclus ; Achilles ; 
Euphorbus ; Hyperenor — Horses and chariots of the 
Thracians — Ancient Greeks and horsemanship ; de- 
cline in the popularity of war chariots ; inauguration of 
cavalry — Xenophon on horsemanship — White horses . i 

CHAPTER II 

Increasing interest in horses — Herodotus ; Thucydides ; 
war chariots of the Persians — Horses represented on 
coinage — Wooden horse of Troy — The Parthenon frieze ; 
Greek art — Plato ; white horses — The procession of 
Xerxes ; horses and men sacrificed — The horse of 
Darius — Horse racing introduced among the Romans 
— Xenophon and Simo — Early horseshoes, bits and 
bitting ; ancient methods of mounting . ; .23 

CHAPTER III 

Xenophon disliked the "American" seat — Cavalry organised 
by the Athenians — Cost of horses twenty-three centuries 

vii 



viii THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

PAGE 

Chapter III — continued 

ago — Aristophanes ; Aristotle ; Athenians' fondness for 
horse racing — Alexander the Great ; Bucephalus — Story 
of Bucephalus ; his death — Famous painters of horses : 
Apelles, Pauson, Micon — Mythical flesh-eating horses 
of Diomed — Hannibal's cavalry of 12,000 horse — Coins 
— Posidonius ; horses of the Parthians, Iberians and 
Celtiberians .::.:,- 45 

CHAPTER IV 

Virgil on the points of a horse — Cjesar's invasion — Abolition 
of war chariots — Precursor of the horseshoe — Nero's 
2000 mules shod with silver ; Poppa;a's shod with gold 
— The Ossianic and Cuchulainn epic cycles ; Cuchu- 
lainn's horses — The Iceni on Newmarket Heath ; early 
horse racing in Britain — Horses immolated by the 
Romans ; white horses as prognosticators — Caligula's 
horse, Incitatus ; Celer, the horse of Verus ; the horse 
of Belisarius :.::.: 67 

CHAPTER V 

Mahomet encourages horse-breeding — Procopius ; a mis- 
statement — Early allusion to horse races — Figures of 
horses cut on clififs — Roland and his horse, \'eillantiff — 
Orelia, Roderick's charger — Trebizond, Alfana ; Odin's 
mythical horse, Sleipnir — Horse fighting in Iceland — 
Some horses of mythology : Pegasus, Selene, Xanthos, 
Balios, Cyllaros, Arion, Reksh — Arab pedigrees traced 
through dams — Influence of the horse upon history — 
Courage of Julius Ci^sar's horses . . .86 

PART II 

FROM THE CONQUEST TO THE STUART PERIOD 

CHAPTER I 

The Conqueror's cavalry— Horse fairs and races at Smith- 
field — King John's foolish fad — The Persians and 



CONTENTS ix 

PAGE 

Chapter I — continued 

their horses — Relics of Irish art ; what they indicate 
— Simon de Montfort the first master of foxhounds — 
The king's right to commandeer horses — Sir Eustace 
de Hecche ; Battle of Falkirk — Marco Polo and white 
horses ; curious superstitions — Edward III. and Richard 
II. encourage horse breeding — Battle of Crecy : . 107 

CHAPTER II 

Richard II.'s horse, Roan Barbary — Thoroughbred English 
horses characteristic of the nation — Chaucer ; Cambus- 
can's wooden horse — Don Quixote's Aligero Clavileno 
— Horse race between the Prince of Wales and Lord 
Arundel — The Chevalier Bayard ; his horse, Carman 
— The Earl of Warwick's horse, Black Saladin — Joan of 
Arc — King Richard's horse, White Surrey — Charles 
VIII. of France's horse. Savoy — Dame Julyana Berners 
— Wolsey's horsemanship — Queen Elizabeth's stud : 127 

CHAPTER III 

Inauguration and development of the Royal Stud — Ex- 
portation of horses declared by Henry VIII. to be 
illegal — Sale of horses to Scotsmen pronounced to be 
an act of felony — Riding matches become popular — 
Ferdinand of Arragon's gift of horses to Henry VIII. 
— Henry's love of hunting — King Henry stakes the bells 
of St Paul's on a throw of the dice — Some horses of 
romance — Horse-breeding industry crippled in Scotland 148 

CHAPTER IV 

North America without horses when Columbus landed — 
Scarcity of horses at the Conquest of Mexico — Francisco 
Pizarro ; his cavaliers terrify the Indians — Emperor 
Charles V; sends horses to King Edward VI. — David 
Hume, "a man remarkable for piety, probity, candour 
and integrity"; his practices in connection with horse 
racing — Queen Elizabeth fond of racing ; condition of 



X THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

PAGE 

Chapter IV — continued 

the Turf during her reign — Stallions fed on eggs and 
oysters — Lord Herbert of Cherbury's antagonistic atti- 
tude towards the Turf — Some horses in Shakespeare's 
plays — Performing horse and its owner publicly burnt 
to death — Horses trained by cruelty : . . .168 

CHAPTER V 

King Henry VIII: and Queen Elizabeth passionately fond 
of hunting — John Selwyn's remarkable feat in the 
hunting field ; the monument at Walton-on-Thames — 
Don Quixote and his steed, Rosinante ; Peter of 
Provence's wooden horse, Babieca ; Claviieno and the 
Cid's horse — Mary Queen of Scots' favourite horses — 
Queen Elizabeth's retinue of 2400 horses — Arundel, 
Aquiline, Brigadore — The horses of Anatolia and 
Syria — Sir Robert Carey's historic ride from London to 
Edinburgh in sixty hours — The horses of Napoleon I. 187 



PART III 

FROM THE STUART PERIOD TO THE PRESENT 

DAY 

CHAPTER I 

Arrival of the Markham Arabian, the first Arab imported 
into England — Newmarket village founded by James I. 
— Decline of the " great horse '' — The Royal Studs — 
James L organises a race meeting on the frozen River 
Ouse — Superstitious beliefs .concerning horses — James 
I. meets with a grotesque riding mishap — Prosperity of 
the Turf — Riding match between Lord Haddington and 
Lord Shefiield — The Turf vigorously denounced as " an 
evil likely to imperil the whole country's prosperity ■' . 202 



CONTENTS xi 

PAGE 

CHAPTER II 

First races of importance run at Newmarket — Races in 
Hyde Park — The Helmsley Turk and the Morocco 
Barb — Racing introduced into Holland — Importation of 
Spanish stallions into England — Prince Charles's riding 
master, the Duke of Newcastle — Increasing cost of 
horses — Marshal de Bassompierre ; his loss through 
gambling, ^500,000 in a year ; Sir John Fenwick — 
Sir Edward Harwood's pessimism — Cromwell's Iron- 
sides — Armour discarded — The opposition to stage 
coaches; Mr Cressett's theory; Charles II. favours 
their adoption .... . . 222 

CHAPTER III 

The Commonwealth's " ordinance to prohibit horse racing -' 
— Revival of racing under Charles II. — The King a 
finished horseman — The figure of Britannia — The Royal 
Mares — Formation of the thoroughbred stud — Thomas 
Shadwell's cynical description of life at Newmarket — 
Spread of horse racing in Ireland — Jockeys at New- 
market entertained by Charles II. — Sir Robert Carr ; 
the Duke of Monmouth's connection with the Turf — 
Annual charge for horses of the Royal household, 
^16,640 — Newmarket under the regime of the Merry 
Monarch ; the Duke of Buckingham . . . 242 

CHAPTER IV 

Arrival of the Byerley Turk — Roman Catholics forbidden 
to own a horse worth over ^5 — Henry Hyde, Earl of 
Clarendon, on the manners of the age — King William 
III.'s death due to a riding accident — The Duke 
of Cumberland's breeding establishment in Queen 
Anne's reign — Arrival of the Darley Arabian — The 
Godolphin Arabian — Royal Ascot inaugurated by 
Queen Anne — "Docking" and "cropping'-' con- 
demned by Queen Anne ; attempt to suppress these 



xii THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

PAGE 

Chapter IV — continued 

practices — The story of Eclipse — Some horses of 
romance — Copenhagen and Marengo . . . 261 

CHAPTER V 

A retrospective summary — The beginning of the end — 
Superstition of the horseshoe — The Bedouins and 
their horses — Some classic thoroughbreds of modern 
times — Horses hypnotised — The Derby and the Oaks 
— Horse racing in Mongolia — Conclusion . . 281 

Index ........ 295 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

The Knight, Death, and the Devil . . Frontispiece 

From an engraving by Albert Diirer. 

FACING PAGE 

Combat between Amazons and Attic heroes. Fourth 

century, B.C. . . . . .19 

From a Greek vase in the British Museum. 

Greek coins showing horses in the early centuries 

before Christ . . . . .27 

The Emperor Trajan, showing Roman style of riding . 33 
From Richard Berenger's " The History and Art of Horse- 
manship." 

The Emperor Theodosius, showing saddle . . 33 

From Richard Berenger's " The History and Art of Horse- 
manship." 

A Parthian horseman, showing Parthian style of riding 

bareback ...... 33 

From Richard Berenger's " The History and Art of Horse- 
manship." 

Sarmatian horse and warrior, meant to represent horse 
and rider in armour made of plates of bone or of 
horsehoof .••••• 33 
From Richard Berenger's "The History and Art of Horse- 
manship." 

A portion of the Parthenon Frieze, executed by Phidias 

about the year 440 B.C. . . . -39 

xiii 



xiv THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

FACIKG PAGE 

Roman soldier about to adjust "stocking" used in 

place of shoes ..... 45 

From Richard Berenger's " The History and Art of Horse- 
manship." 

Roman soldier about to mount on off side . . 45 

From Richard Berenger's " The History and Art of Horse- 
manship." 

A Mauritanian horseman, showing how the Mauritanians 

and Humidians rode without saddle or bridle . 45 

From Richard Berenger's " The History and Art of Horse- 
manship." 

Alexander the Great on horseback, about 338 B.C. 

The figure is believed to represent Bucephalus . 55 

From a bronze in the British Museum. 

Persians fighting with elephants against the Romans, 
about the time of Pyrrhus, 2S0 B.C. This picture 
has been wrongly attributed to Raphael . . 63 

From an engraving. 

Caligula on horseback. About 37 .^.d. . . 79 

From a figure in the British Museum. 

Bayeux tapestry supposed to represent the Battle of 

Hastings, 1066 . . . . .109 

Statue of CoUeoni by Verrocchio in Venice . . 203 

From a photo by R. Anderson, Rome. 

Van Dyck's famous picture of Charles I. on horseback 

in the National Gallery, London . . .225 

From a photo by Franz Hanfstcengl. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



XV 



FACING PAtiE 



Oliver Cromwell on horseback . . •233 

After the painting by Van Dyck. 

Horses of the Cavaliers, seventeenth century. From a 
painting in the possession of his Majesty King 
Edward VII. ..... 243 

From a photograph by Franz Hanfstsengl. 

The Duke of Schonberg on a typical charger of the early 

seventeenth century .... 257 

After the painting by Sir G. Kneller. 

Flying Childers, bred by Mr Leonard Childers in 17 15, 
is said to have been "the fastest horse that has ever 
lived "...... 269 

From a photograph by A. Rischgilz. 

Mr O'Kelly's Eclipse, the most famous thoroughbred 
stallion ever foaled, 1764 .... 273 
After the painting by G. Stubbs. 

Napoleon at Wagram . . . . .297 

From the famous painting by Vernet at Versailles. 
From a photo by Neurdein freres. 

Wellington's famous horse, Copenhagen . . 281 

From an engraving (Photo by A. Rischgitz). 

Flying Dutchman, foaled 1846 . . . 285 

From a life-size painting by Herring. By kind permission 

of the Earl of Rosebery. 
From a photograph by W. E. Gray. 



SOME WORKS CONSULTED 

/^F the many volumes the writer has consulted 
whilst engaged in compiling this book, the 
following are among the more important. The 
list is arranged alphabetically, according to the 
authors' names. To the authors or editors, as 
the case may be, and to the publishers of these 
works, the writer here begs to acknowledge his 
very deep indebtedness for the assistance he has 
derived from consulting the volumes named. 

Arrian (F.) — "The Anabasis of Alexander." 
AuREGGio (E.) — " Les Chevaux du Nord de I'Afrique." 
AzARA (F. de) — "The Natural History of the Quadrupeds 

of Paraguay and the River La Plata." 
Berenger (R.) — " The History and Art of Horseman- 
ship." 
Blount (T.)— " Antient Tenures." 
Blunt (W. S.) " Bedouin Tribes of the Euphrates." 
BoussoN (M. A. E.) — "Etude de la Representation du 

Cheval." 
Charras (J. B. A.) "Histoire de la Campagne de 1815." 
Chomel (C.) — " Histoire du Cheval dans I'antiquite et 

son role dans la civilization." 
Church (A. J.) — " Roman Life in the Days of Cicero." 
Cook (T. A.)— "The History of the Turf," and "Eclipse 

and O'Kelly." 
Darwin (C. R.) — "Variation of Animals and Plants." 
b xvii 



xviii THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Erman (A.) — "Life in Ancient Egypt." 

EwART (J. C.) — "The Multiple Origin of Horses and 
Ponies"; "A Critical Period in the Development 
of the Horse " ; and " The Penicuik Experiments 
on Breeding between Horses and Zebras." 

FiTZWYGRAM (Sir F. W. J.) — " Horses and Stables." 

Flower (Sir W. H.)— "The Horse." 

Gast (E.) — " Le Cheval Normand et ses Origines." 

Greenwell (W.) — "British Barrows." 

GiLBEY (Sir W.)— " Horses Past and Present," and " The 
Great Horse, or War Horse." 

Haddon (A. C.)— "The Study of Man." 

Hall (H.)— The Horses of the British Empire." 

Hayes (M. H.) — "Points on the Horse." 

Holm (A.)— "The History of Greece." 

HoRE (J. P.) — " History of Newmarket." 

Hume (D.) — "Imperial History of England." 

Hume (D.) — " The History of the House of Douglas." 

JowETT (B.) — "Thucydides." 

JoNSON (B.)— "The Alchemist." 

Lodge (E.) — " Illustrations of British History." 

Mayne (C.)— " Odes of Pindar." 

MoNTFAUCON (B. de) — " Antiquities." 

Morgan (H.) — "The Art of Horsemanship." 

Murray (D). — " Life of Joan of Arc." 

Mitchell (T.) — "The Comedies of Aristophanes." 

Newcastle (Duke of) — "Observations on Horses." 

Petrie (F.) — " History of Egypt." 

PiETREMENT (C. A.) — " Les Chcvaux dans les Temps 
Historiques et pr6-Historiques." 

Plutarch — " Life of Alexander the Great." 

Prescott (W. H.) — "The Conquest of Mexico." 

Reyce (R).— " Breviary of Suffolk." 

Ridgeway (W.) — "The Origin and Influence of the 
Domestic Horse,'" and "The Early Age of Greece." 



SOME WORKS CONSULTED xix 

RusKiN (J.)— "The Queen of the Air." 

ScHLiEBEN (A.) — "The Horse in Antiquity." 

Sidney (S.)— " The Book of the Horse." 

SoTHERBY (W.) — " Georgics of Virgil." 

SouTHEY (R.) — " Iliad of Homer." 

Street (F.)— "The History of the Shire Horse." 

Strutt (J.) — " Sports and Pastimes of the People of 

England." 
Tasso (T.)—" Jerusalem Delivered." 
Taunton (T.) — " Famous Horses." 
Trimmer (Mrs M.) — " Natural History." 
Tweedie (Mrs Alec.) — "Hyde Park: Its History and 

Romance." 
Tweedie (W.)— " The Arabian Horse." 
Upton (Capt. R. D.) — " Newmarket and Arabia." 
Vaux (Baron C. M. de) — "A Cheval. Etude des Races 

Frangaises et Etrangeres." 
White (C.)— " History of the Turf." 
Witt (C.)— " The Trojan War." 
Yule (Sir H.)— " Marco Polo." 

Standard classics consulted have for the most 
part been omitted from this list. The writer 
wishes in addition to thank his friend, Dr 
William Barry, the distinguished classical scholar, 
for the trouble he has taken in helping to revise 
some of the earlier of the proof sheets ; Professor 
William Ridgeway, of Cambridge, the famous 
historian and archaeologist, for letters containing 
advice that has proved of use ; Mr Theodore 
Andrea Cook, the most trustworthy authority 
we have upon the history of the Turf and the 



XX THE HORSE IN HISTORY ' 

, modern thoroughbred, for letters of introduction, 
etc. ; and the Directors of the British Museum 
and the Directors of the National Gallery for 
allowing photographs to be taken for reproduc- 
tion. For the sake of convenience the centuries 
B.C. are alluded to in the same way that centuries 
A.D. are alluded to, that is, one century in ad- 
vance. Thus 550 B.C. is spoken of as the fourth 
century B.C. ; 250 a.d. as the third century a.d., 
and so on. 



THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

PART I 

FROM VERY EARLY TIMES TO THE CONQUEST 
CHAPTER I 

Rameses ; early Egyptian chariots — Horses of Babylon and 
of Libya — Erichthonius ; horse of Job ; horses of Solomon — Early 
circus riding — Dancing horses of the Sybarites ; the Crotonians' 
stratagem — Homer's " Iliad" ; Menesthus ; early wagering — 
Patroclus ; Achilles ; Euphorbus ; Hyperenor — Horses and 
chariots of the Thracians — Ancient Greeks and horsemanship ; 
decline in the popularity of war chariots ; inauguration of cavalry 
— Xenophon on horsemanship — White horses 

'T"^ HOUGH according to the more trustworthy 
"^ of our naturahsts hoofed animals do not 
occur until the Tertiary Period in the history of 
mammals, there can be no doubt that from an 
epoch almost "so far back that the memory 
of man runneth not to the contrary," in the 
hteral meaning of that legal phrase, the horse 
has played a prominent part in the development 
of the human race. 

Reference is made incidentally to "the horses 
of Abraham " by the author of a historical novel 
published recently ; but then even the most pains- 



2 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

taking of writers of fiction is apt to err in minute 
points, and can one blame him when the lands 
over which he travels, and the subjects of which 
he treats, are so numerous and vary so widely ? 
For we know from Genesis — also from certain 
other later sources that may be depended upon 
for accuracy — that though the prophet had 
creatures of divers kinds bestowed upon him, 
yet the horse probably is one of the few animals 
he did not receive. 

Many of the important and famous victories 
won by Rameses — Sesostris as the Greeks termed 
him — and by other monarchs of the eighteenth 
and nineteenth dynasties, most likely would have 
proved crushing defeats but for the assistance 
they obtained from horses. As it happened, 
however, Rameses — whom recent writers declare 
to have been a very barefaced "boomster" — 
succeeded with the help of his horses in march- 
ing triumphant through many of the outlying 
territories in Africa as well as in Asia. 



We have it on the authority of Professor 
Flinders Petrie and other distinguished historians 
that Aahmes I. — a king of the seventeenth 
dynasty who drove out the Hyksos — reigned 
from 1587 to 1562 B.C., and chariots do not appear 
to have been used in Egypt prior to his accession. 



EARLY EGYPTIAN CHARIOTS 3 

Indeed, as Professor Owen himself has pointed 
out, horses are not found represented on any of 
the monuments of the very early Egyptians, so 
that apparently the Egyptians of the eighteenth 
dynasty, whose monuments probably are the first 
to show horses and chariots, must have been the 
first to turn their attention seriously to the em- 
ployment of horses for useful purposes. 

And yet from further statements made in 
Genesis it seems certain that a native Egyptian 
king- who flourished somewhere about the time 
of Jacob — that is to say between 1800 and 
1 700 B.C. — owned many horses and chariots. The 
Egyptians apparently did not mount horses until 
a very late period in their history, and even the 
chariots they constructed were, until many years 
had passed, used only in time of war. The lower 
classes, if one may call them so, used only the 
ass, a beast that must have been popular amongst 
the Egyptians for centuries before horses were 
even heard of in Egypt. 

From Genesis we gather too that Pharaoh 
made Joseph drive in his second chariot ; but the 
Egyptians who bought corn from Joseph and 
gave horses in exchange for it belonged probably 
to the well-to-do class that in time of war was 
compelled to provide the king with almost as 
many horses and chariots as he needed, or at any 
rate as many as he asked for. 



4 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

In the records of Babylonia It is stated that 
horses were first employed in the great city about 
the year 1500 B.C. The Libyans, however, must 
have broken horses to harness some centuries 
before this, and indeed learnt to ride them with 
some skill, for it is proved beyond all doubt that 
the women of Libya rode horses astride at any 
rate so far back as the seventeenth century B.C., 
and that in addition to this horses were at about 
that time being driven in pairs by the Libyans, to 
whom even the four-horse chariot cannot have 
been quite unknown. 

It has not been proved, from what I have been 
able to ascertain, that in Neolithic times horses 
were already tamed, but some remains of horses 
discovered at Walthamstow, in Essex, are said 
to date back approximately to that period and to 
indicate for that reason that horses were domesti- 
cated in the Neolithic Age. 

Evidence does exist, however, that in the 
Neolithic and Bronze Ages horses of a type that 
closely resembled that of the horses of the 
Palaeolithic Age were to be found in several parts 
of Europe. The Trojans, as most of us know, 
bred horses very largely indeed, so much so that 
we read of King Erichthonius, who in the 
thirteenth century B.C. was in his heyday, that 
he became "richest of mortal men" and the 
possessor of "three thousand mares which 



ERICHTHONIUS 5 

pastured along the marsh meadow, rejoicing in 
their tender foals," a statement that indirectly 
recalls the fine lines in Longfellow's "The 
Minnisink" : 

" They buried the dark chief — they freed 
Beside the grave his battle steed ; 
And swift an arrow cleaves its way 
To his stern heart ! One piercing neigh 
Arose, — and on the dead man's plain 
The rider grasps his steed again." 

Erichthonius, according to Virgil, was the first 
to handle a four-in-hand, for in the third book of 
his " Georgics " we are told how 

"Bold Erichthonius first four coursers yok'd 
And urg'd the chariot as the axle snaok'd." 

Rather a risky proceeding and one from which 
we may conclude that bold Erichthonius would 
have flouted the axiom promulgated recently by 
the more prudent members of a well-known coach- 
inor club that "no team ouorht to be driven faster 
than ten miles an hour, upon an average"! 



Though allusions to the horse are made re- 
peatedly in the Bible, they give us little or no 
insight as to the horse's influence upon the nations 
and their development. The notorious steed of 
Job that when among the trumpets exclaimed 



6 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

"Ha! Ha!" and then winded the battle afar off 
and fretted itself unduly upon hearing "the 
thunder of the captains and the shouting " has 
been described by several writers, but no two de- 
scriptions appear to tally. 

Solomon, according to the " Book of Kings, " 
must have owned quite a large stud, for we read 
that he had horses brought out of Egypt, and 
that a chariot came up and went out for six 
hundred shekels of silver, a horse for a hundred 
and fifty, " and so for all thfe kings of the Hittites, 
and for the kings of Syria, did he bring them 
out. " The Hittites, whom Professor Jensen 
assures us were Indo-Europeans, are also shown 
to have had horses when they made their way 
into Northern Palestine, probably at some period 
prior to 1400 B.C., but trustworthy information 
about the horses and how the Hittites treated 
them is not obtainable. 

As for the horses in the Mycenean Period — 
the Bronze Age of Greece — the monuments of 
that epoch bear testimony to the esteem in 
which they were held. The indigenous people 
of Greece were presumably the Pelasgians, and 
these monuments remain to bear testimony that 
such a people once existed. 

In a like manner do the gravestones of the 
Acropolis of Mycenie bear indisputable evidence, 
for upon three of them at least are to be seen 
sculptured in low relief a chariot, a pair of horses, 



EARLY CIRCUS RIDING 7 

and a driver, the date of this particular sculpture 
being approximately the fourteenth century B.C. 



It seems practically beyond dispute that before 
the year 1000 b.c. no people rode on horseback 
except the Libyans, though chariots must have 
been used quite 2000 years before that. Yet by 
the time Homer wrote his poems horsemanship 
was becoming common amongst a section of the 
Greeks. 

Indeed by that time feats of skill on horseback 
upon a par with the antics we see performed to- 
day in circuses were at least known, and prob- 
ably they were often watched and greatly liked. 
Listen, for instance, to the following Homeric 
simile — the translation is almost literal : — 

"As when a man that well knows how to ride 
harnesses up four chosen horses, and springing 
from the ground dashes to the great city along 
the public highway, and crowds of men and 
women look on in wonder, while he with all 
confidence, as his steeds fly on, keeps leaping 
from one to another." 

There are two references at least in Homer 
to "four male horses yoked together," but the 
practice of driving four-in-hand certainly was not 
common in the eighth century B.C., or probably 
until long after. The above reference, however, 



8 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

to feats of skill performed on horseback, recalls to 
mind a story, probably more or less true, that has 
to do with the luxurious people of Sybaris, in 
Southern Italy. 

In the early centuries before Christ, so it is 
related, this people trained all its horses to dance 
to the sound of music, to the music of flutes in 
particular. The inhabitants of Croton having 
heard of this, and being sworn enemies of the 
Sybarites, determined to take advantage of the 
information and attempt to conquer their foe 
with the aid of strategy. 

For this reason they provided all the musicians 
in their own army with flutes in place of trumpets 
and the other instruments they had been in the 
habit of using, and then without delay declared 
war upon the Sybarites. 

The latter, to do them justice, responded at 
once, in spite of the condition of lethargy to 
which the life of luxury they had been leading was 
supposed to have reduced them. No sooner did 
they approach the Crotonian lines, however, than 
"a great part of the army," as we are told, "set 
up a merry tune," which had the effect of stamped- 
ing the Sybarites' horses, for "they instantly 
threw off their riders and began to skip and 
dance." 

As a natural consequence the Sybarite army 
was taken at a disadvantage and quickly routed 
with great slaughter, "very many horses being 



HOMER'S "ILIAD" 9 

killed during the engagement, to their owners' 
dismay and grief." 



This strange story may be in a measure 
exaggerated, but probably it is based on truth, 
in which case it proves that the Greeks of Magna 
Graecia at any rate made use of cavalry before 
the rest had attempted to do so. Also we know 
that in the year 510 B.C. the Crotonians destroyed 
Sybaris entirely. 

The Assyrians too, at about this period, evi- 
dently had well-appointed cavalry, for Ezekiel 
speaks of their being "clothed in blue, captains 
and rulers, all of them desirable young men, 
horsemen riding upon horses," and goes on to 
give particulars which, in so far as they relate to 
the mode of life in vogue with these desirable 
young men, are calculated to shock the suscepti- 
bilities of prudish persons, and to amuse others. 

In the li2:ht of the Higrher Criticism Homer's 
" Iliad " is believed to have been written by 
various hands, and incidentally the Criticism 
throws useful light upon the horse in his rela- 
tion to the history of the nations known to have 
flourished in the very early centuries before Christ. 

One need not here describe such steeds as 
Agamemnon's mare, swift ^the, that was given 
to him by his vassal, Echepolus of Sicylon, and 



lo THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

subsequently driven in the chariot race by 
Menelaus ; or Phallas, the horse of HeracHos ; 
or the horses of the PyHan breed of which Homer 
speaks at length ; or Galathe, Ethon, Podarge or 
any of the other steeds of which Priam's eldest 
son, "magnanimous and noble Hector," was so 
justly proud. Also the horses of mythology do 
not possess great interest for the majority of 
modern readers other than classical scholars. 

That Homer himself, however, had sound 
knowledge of the qualifications which go to make 
up what in latter-day English we probably should 
term a "finished charioteer" is shown by the 
following rather well-known lines that here are 
translated almost literally: — 

" But he who in his chariot and his steeds 
Trusts only, wanders here and there 
Unsteady, while his coursers loosely rein'd 
Roam wide the field ; not so the charioteer 
Of sound intelligence ; he, though he drive 
Inferior steeds, looks ever to the goal 
While close he clips, not ignorant to check 
His coursers at the first, but with tight rein 
Ruling his own, and watching those before." 

Menesthus, emphatically one of the finest of 
the many fine riders spoken of in the " Iliad." or, 
as Homer himself describes him, "foremost in 
equestrian fame," is typical of the horsemen of 
that period. 

In the "Iliad" too we find what I believe I 



EARLY WAGERING ii 

am right in stating to be the first direct histori- 
cal allusion to wageringf on horse races. But 
the medium current on racecourses in those days 
was not coin. The odds apparently were laid 
in "kitchen utensils" — as a lad with whom I 
was at school once construed the line, to his 
subsequent discomfiture — namely, cauldrons and 
tripods. 

Such, at least, we are led to infer from the 
paragraph in the twenty-third book of the " Iliad," 
which, according to William Cowper's blank verse 
translation, edited by Robert Southey, runs some- 
what as follows : — 

" Come now — a tripod let us wager each, 
Or cauldron, and let Agamemnon judge 
Whose horses lead, that, losing, thou mayst learn. " 

Or more euphoniously, as Lord Derby has it : 

" Wilt thou a cauldron or a tripod stake 
And Agamemnon, Atreus' son, appoint the umpire 
To decide whose steeds are first ? " 

The cauldrons and tripods referred to were 
of course of great value, and, as trophies, highly 
prized by competitors in the races and other 
competitions calling for a display of skill and 
daring. 

There is another allusion in the " Iliad" to the 
presentation of a tripod as a great reward for 
valour. It occurs in the eighth book, and the 
passage goes more or less like this : 



12 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

" Let but the Thunderer and Minerva grant 
The pillage of fair Ilium to the Greeks, 
And I will give to thy victorious hand, 
After my own, the noblest recompense, 
A tripod or a chariot with its steeds. 
Or some fair captive to partake thy bed." 

I recollect how at school this passage, with 
several others, used to be rigorously excluded 
when Homer was being construed, with the result 
that Kelly's famous " Keys to the Classics " used 
afterwards to be produced surreptitiously, and the 
"censored" lines turned carefully into English. 



From what Homer tells us elsewhere, and from 
additional sources, we may conclude that of all 
the races that bred horses and took just pride 
in them in the early centuries before Christ the 
Thracians were probably the most renowned. 

The brilliant horsemanship of " noble Patroclus 
of equestrian fame," the amiable and staunch 
friend of Achilles, must not be passed unmen- 
tioned ; nor the deeds of prowess that are at- 
tributed to Euphorbus, "famous for equestrian 
skill, for spearmanship, and in the rapid race past 
all of equal age " ; nor yet the deeds of Hypere- 
nor whose skill in handling horses may be likened 
to the skill of Rarey in our own time. 

The following lines from the "Iliad" are of 



HARNESS IN HOMER'S DAY 13 

interest here because they serve to indicate to 
some extent the style of harness and useless 
trappings that must have been in vogue amongst 
the wealthy in Homer's day : — 

" So Hera, the goddess queen, daughter of 
great Cronos, went her way to harness the gold- 
frontleted steeds ; and Hebe quickly put to the 
car the curved wheels of bronze, eight spoked, 
upon their axletree of iron." 

Then : 

" Golden is their felloe, imperishable, and tires 
of bronze are fitted thereover, a marvel to look 
upon ; and the naves are of silver, to turn 
about on either side. And the body of the car 
is plaited tight with gold and silver straps, and 
two rails run round about it. 

" And a silver pole stood out therefrom ; upon 
the end she bound the fair golden yoke, and set 
thereon the fair breast-straps of gold, and Hera 
led beneath the yoke the horses, fleet of foot, and 
hungered for strife and the battle-cry." 

It has been argued that about the time of 
Homer gold and silver were deemed to be com- 
paratively of small value, and that therefore the 
trappings described were not so costly as one 
naturally would conclude they must have been. 

Upon this point opinions are about equally 
divided. 

Professor Ridgeway tells us that by comparing 
the foregoing description with actual specimens 



14 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

of chariots and horse trappings that have been 
found in Egypt we can form an accurate im- 
pression of the appearance that was presented 
by the original old chariots, and form also an 
idea of the way they were put together, while 
the plaiting with straps of gold and silver recalls 
at once the floor of the Egyptian chariot with its 
plaited leather meshwork — probably the fore- 
runner of leather springs. 



Though Odysseus and Diomede are known to 
have mounted their Thracian horses, we have it 
on irrefutable evidence that at this period chariots 
were still generally used, so that most likely 
horses were ridden but seldom. 

Indeed the Homeric poems provide us with 
probably as much authentic information as to the 
methods of mana^inQr and breedinor horses that 
were in vogue in Greece, in Thrace, and in Asia 
Minor in the very early years before Christ, as 
any half-dozen other volumes put together that 
purport to deal with the ways and customs of a 
period of which, when all is said, little enough is 
known. 

Naturally the Thracians had in those days 
some of the best horses that could be procured, 
while those they drove in their war chariots are 
said to have been quite unrivalled. That they 



THRACIAN HORSES AND CHARIOTS 15 

possessed very many chariots is proved by 
Homer's realistic account of the slaying of 
Rhesus, the Thracian king, with a dozen or 
so of his bravest followers, and the episode in 
connection with that incident. 

Indeed when Odysseus and Diomede had 
captured Dolon, the Trojan spy, the latter at 
once declared that there were "also Thracians, 
new-comers, at the furthest point apart from the 
rest, and amongst them their king. Rhesus, son 
of Eioneus," adding that his were "the fairest 
horses that ever I beheld, and the greatest, 
whiter than snow, and for speed like the winds. 
His chariot too is fashioned well with gold and 
silver, and golden is his armour that he brought 
with him, marvellous, a wonder to behold." 

Apparently most of the horses bred by the 
Acheans at about this time were either dun- 
coloured or dapple. Xanthos signifies Dun, and 
balios dapple ; but then we have to remember 
that xanthos was used frequently to denote also 
the colour of gold. 

Achilles' steeds were mostly dapple-dun, and 
they had more or less heavy manes. They 
belonged most likely to the breed so popular 
among the Sigynnse of central Europe about the 
fifth century B.C. Certainly Homer makes it 
plain that in the early Iron Age horses were bred 
in many parts of Greece ; that, though driving 
was a common practice, riding was indulged in 



1 6 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

but rarely ; that cavalry in battle was quite un- 
known ; and lastly that though the heroes, as they 
were called, fought mainly in chariots, the great 
body of the army consisted of well-trained infantry. 
As time went on horsemanship apparently 
came to be appreciated more and more, for we 
read that about the year 648 B.C. — the thirty-third 
Olympiad — *' a race for full-grown riding horses " 
was inaugurated in addition to the chariot races, 
and there appear to have been plenty of entries. 
Then though the war chariot had disappeared 
almost completely, before the outbreak of the 
Persian Wars, its place was not taken by well- 
appointed and well-equipped cavalry until some 
years later. 



Though little attention need be paid to the 
Greek legend that Pegasus was the first horse 
ever ridden — a legend not mentioned in Homer — 
it nevertheless is interesting" to know that this 
historic animal was supposed to have been foaled 
in the Bronze Age, and in Libya. That naturally 
would have been prior to the arrival of the fair- 
haired Acheans from Central Europe, so one 
need not be astonished, as several writers 
obviously are, at finding that when these large- 
limbed Acheans first appeared the Greeks already 
knew how to ride. 



GREEKS AND HORSEMANSHIP 17 

At the same time they seldom did ride their 
dun-coloured little cobs, preferring, apparently, 
to drive them in pairs in chariots. That the 
Libyans were finished horsemen centuries before 
the Greeks learnt how to ride has already been 
mentioned ; though whether or no the Greeks 
were first taught horsemanship by the Libyans 
is a question still debated by students of ancient 
history. 



In the north-west of Asia Minor the Libyans 
had dark bay horses with a white star upon the 
forehead about the year 1000 B.C., and a hundred 
or so years later horses of this breed were largely 
imported into various parts of Asia Minor. 

Indeed some of the more enthusiastic of the 
modern historians who have studied closely the 
descent of horses from generation to generation 
persist in maintaining that even in Great Britain 
and Ireland modern horses with this white star 
upon the forehead have in their veins some 
Libyan blood ! How this can well be when we 
know almost without doubt that until towards the 
close of the Bronze or the beginning of the Iron 
Age the horse was hardly made use of at all by 
the inhabitants of these islands, I leave it to 
more learned men to decide among themselves. 

It is remarkable that whereas from very early 



1 8 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

times horses of Asiatic- European breeds have 
proved more or less unmanageable except when 
bitted, the horses of Libya are known to have 
been controlled quite easily by nosebands only. 
Some of the nosebands, or rather halters, used in 
early times were made of plaited straw, and to- 
day halters of almost similar make and pattern 
are still employed in certain of the more remote 
parts of Ireland. 

The bits found most suitable for Asiatic- 
European horses were made first of all of horn, 
then chiefly of bone, later of copper, and finally 
of bronze and iron. Homer, in his " Iliad, " 
alludes to bits of bronze placed between the 
horse's jaws, and this probably is one of the first 
instances of literary evidence we have that a 
thousand years before Christ's birth horses were 
controlled by bits. 

Of course Xenophon has much to say upon 
the question of bits and bitting, and his capital 
treatise on horsemanship throws valuable light 
also upon the horse in its relation to the history 
of that epoch, as we shall see. Upon one point 
in particular in this connection Xenophon lays 
great stress. He maintains it to be imperative 
that every horseman shall possess two bits for 
his horse or horses, one with links of moderate 
size, and one with sharp and heavy links, bidding 
us at the same time remember that " whatever 
sorts of bits be used, they should be flexible, for 




7. ^ 

< 75 



XENOPHON ON HORSEMANSHIP 19 

where a horse seizes a rigid bit he has the whole 
of it fast between his teeth . . . but the other sort 
is similar to a chain, for whatever part of it be 
taken hold of, that part alone remains unbent — 
the rest hangs," 

So that ap'parently bits single- and double- 
jointed, and therefore flexible, were used in the 
early Iron Age by the people of North- Western 
Europe. 



By the beginning of the fourth century B.C. 
many, though not all, of the Greek and the 
Macedonian mounted soldiers had come to con- 
sider some sort of covering for the horse's back 
to be necessary to their equipment ; and so long 
previously as the eighth century B.C. horse cloths 
had been adopted by the Assyrians, a people 
sufficiently wise to realise from the first that a 
horse with something on his back is more com- 
fortable to sit upon than one without. 

These early races probably would have em- 
ployed cavalry several centuries sooner than they 
eventually did, but for the difficulty they 
experienced in arming themselves to their com- 
plete satisfaction when mounted. Such peoples, 
for instance, as the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and 
the Greeks of the Mycenean or Bronze Age, 
habitually protected themselves with the aid of 



20 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

large and oblong shields when they fought on 
foot, but on horseback these shields proved 
cumbersome. Possibly that was the reason that 
when the Normans and other Teutonic races 
began to fight on horseback they so soon dis- 
carded their round and clumsy shields in favour 
of a shield broad at the top and tapering down- 
ward, the shape of shield we see on the Bayeux 
tapestry. 

With regard to the war chariots in use before 
this time, we may be quite sure that even the very 
first employed had not wheels cut from solid 
blocks as some are represented as having, though 
possibly the most primitive of the agricultural 
chariots were so constructed. 

For the rest, the early chariots of the Egyptians 
of the eighteenth dynasty, and in use in India 
under the Vedic Aryans, and amongst the 
Hittites, the Assyrians, the Persians, the Libyans, 
the Mycenean Greeks, the Homeric Acheans, 
the Gauls of Northern Italy and in Gaul itself; 
also among the ancient Britons and the early 
Irish, had wheels with a hub, a felloe, and spokes, 
the latter from four to twelve in number. 

And inasmuch as this information bears in- 
directly upon the horse in his relation to early 
historical records, it is not out of place here. 



WHITE HORSES 21 

To return again to the question of harness, 
we have it on the authority of Herodotus that 
"the Greeks learned from the Libyans to yoke 
four horses to a chariot," and we know already 
that before the time of Herodotus, who wrote 
in the §fth century B.C., the Greeks had found 
Libyans riding astride horses and driving some- 
times two - horse and occasionally four - horse 
chariots. At that time — about 632 B.C. — the 
Greeks were planting Gyrene. 

White horses were in ancient days at all times 
largely in demand among the people of the 
various nations ; and while Pindar alludes inci- 
dentally to white horses being ridden by the 
Thessalians in his time, Sophocles, writing half-a- 
century or so later, describes a Thessalian chariot 
that was drawn by white horses. 

One of the regions in which white horses were 
bred, probably in great numbers, was the banks 
of the Caspian where the River Bug flows from 
it, for Herodotus states clearly that "around a 
great lake from which the River Hypanis (called 
now the Bug) issued, there grazed wild white 
horses." Those particular animals possibly may 
have been in reality only tarpans in their winter 
coats, and not actually horses. The point has 
been argued more than once, but has never 
been quite settled. A white horse famous to- 
wards the close of the fifth or early in the 
fourth century was Kantake, of the notorious 



22 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Prince Gautama, but nothing need be said 
about it here, trustworthy records being unpro- 
curable, 't 

The great cities of Magna Grsecia — Sybaris, 
Tarentum, Croton, and so on — obviously had for- 
midable cavalry in the s>xth century B.C.; Sicily 
and Southern Italy being almost equally renowned 
for the riding horses obtainable there. The 
statagem to which the Crotonians had recourse 
in 510 B.C. to bring about the fall of Sybaris has 
been described, and it is said that for some years 
prior to the destruction of the city some five or 
six thousand of the inhabitants were in the habit 
of riding in procession on horseback upon the 
occasions of the great festivals held there. 



CHAPTER II 

Increasing interest in horses — Herodotus ; Thucydides ; war 
chariots of the Persians — Horses represented on coinage — Wooden 
horse of Troy — The Parthenon frieze ; Greek art — Plato ; white 
horses — The procession of Xerxes ; horses and men sacrificed — 
The horse of Darius — Horse racing introduced among the 
Romans — Xenophon and Simo — Early horseshoes, bits and 
bitting ; ancient methods of mounting 

A S we gradually approach the time of Christ 

we find increasing interest being taken in 

horses by the kings and great chiefs of different 

countries, for the value of cavalry in war was now 

quickly becoming manifest. 

In the early days of the Homeric or Iron Age 
the Celts of Noricum and the Danube, though 
still retaining chariots, had begun to ride on 
horseback, and by the third century B.C. these 
Celtic tribes already possessed well-trained and 
very formidable cavalry. As a natural result the 
demand for still better horses grew steadily, and 
soon it became common to import horses into the 
Upper Balkan, and countries beyond the Alps, 
from the Mediterranean area. 

Perhaps the best description of a chariot race 

at Delphi is to be found in the Electra of 

Sophocles — Sophocles flourished in the third 

century b.c. At about the same period Hero- 

23 



24 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

dotus tells us that the Sigynnse, the only tribe 
north of the Danube that he mentions by name, 
had " horses with shaggy hair five fingers long all 
over their bodies." These horses were "small 
and flat-nosed and incapable of carrying men, 
but when yoked under a chariot were very 
swift." 

Consequently the natives drove them largely 
in chariots. 

Though Herodotus does not allude to the 
colour of these small, flat-nosed horses, there is 
reason to believe that dun was the colour most 
prevalent at about this time. With regard to 
the horses of Northern Britain Dio Cassius says 
that two of the chief tribes — namely, the Cale- 
donians and the Maeatae — " went to war in 
chariots, as their horses were small and fleet," 
while when the Gauls passed into Italy, towards 
the beginning of the fourth century B.C., they 
drove chariots but did not ride, in which re- 
spect they resembled the Sigynnae north of the 
Danube. 

Thucydides, writing at the end of the third 
century B.C., speaks with interest on the subject 
of horses' hoofs, pointing out that the reason so 
many of the cavalry horses of the Athenians 
went lame towards the close of the Peloponnesian 
War was not that they had been wounded, as 
some historians have averred, but owing simply 
to their not bein^ shod. This was after the 



& 



WAR CHARIOT OF THE PERSIANS 25 

Spartans had occupied Decelea and suffered their 
heavy loss. 

Alcibiades, in the third century B.C., had many 
horses, and in the sixth book of " Thucydides " he 
tells us in his speech that he sent into the lists 
no less than seven chariots, adding that " no 
other man ever did the like " ; and later he goes 
on to mention that he won the first, second and 
fourth prizes. 

Apparently Alcibiades knew his world, and 
if so it would seem that his world was not 
unlike the world we know to-day, for in another 
passage he sententiously yet philosophically tells 
us that we "must not expect to be recognised 
by our acquaintance when we are down in the 
world ; and on the same principle why should 
anyone complain when treated with disdain by 
the more fortunate ? " 

This particular sentence is according to the 
translation of " Thucydides " by the late Professor 
Jowett, who leaves us to infer what we please 
concerning the sociological views held by 
Alcibiades. 

Among the first to employ war chariots with 
scythes intended to mow down the enemy were 
the Persians, if historical records are to be trusted, 
and we read that the chariots they used in the 
battle of Cunaxa, in 401 B.C., were provided with 
sharp blades, while in after years the people of Syria 
had war chariots with spears as well as scythes. 



26 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Thus in the bloody battle fought between 
Eumenes of Pergamus, and Antiochus of Syria, 
to mention but a single instance, Antiochus had 
four-horse chariots with scythes and spears in his 
front line of battle, whereupon Eumenes purposely 
"created terror" amongst these horses, with the 
result that they turned suddenly and dashed back 
into the lines of Antiochus, spreading devastation 
and death on all sides in their own ranks. 

Certain it is that upon that occasion many 
horses were cut to pieces by the scythes, but for 
a full and graphic description of what happened 
I must refer the reader to the thirty-seventh 
chapter of the immortal " Livy." 



The esteem in which horses, especially war 
horses, were held in the centuries that immedi- 
ately preceded the coming of Christ may to some 
extent be gathered from the prominence accorded 
to them when coins to be used as the circulat- 
ing medium began to come into general vogue. 
Thus on the first of the Carthaginian coins — they 
were struck in the third century B.C. — we find 
represented a horse upon one side, a palm-tree 
upon the other, while on the coins of the im- 
portant Sicilian settlement, Panormus, a horse is 
shown. 

I have tried to disentangle from a mass of only 




liKEKK COINS SIlOWINti HtlKSlis 1\ THK K Ai; I V CKNllKrtS BEhOKt LIIKIM 

t<3- .■tKf'Sf'ili'"!- :!, 4. S. 6. ■;,<). Syracuse. S. .Isia Afiiioraiui Gr(f,f. niiij't.'f Afairiii'ii 
/(). H(ll(iifsti( /vriat. Hiero c;/' Sicily 



HORSES REPRESENTED ON COINAGE 27 

semi-trustworthy records the true origin of the 
well-known saying : " He has Seius' horse in his 
stable." So far as one can ascertain, it is trace- 
able to the fates of the various ill-starred owners 
of the horses of Gnaeus Seius, from Seius down to 
Anthony. Plutarch says that the famous Philip 
II. loved to commemorate his Olympian victories 
by stamping the figure of a steed upon some of 
his coins, and certainly he was devoted both to 
horses and horse racing. We read too that 
between 359 and 336 b.c. he entered both chariots 
and riding horses for the Olympian competi- 
tions. 

Similarly a proportion of the Sicilian coinage 
bore the impression of a horse, and many of the 
great chariot races are commemorated on coins. 
Several of the Agrigentine coins, for instance, 
show a quadriga driven by winged Nike, in comi- 
memoration probably of the victory of Exaenetus, 
while some of the coinage of Syracuse dating 
back so far as 500 B.C., and even earlier, repre- 
sents a four-horse chariot upon the face of the 
tetradrachms, and, on the didrachms, a man 
ridincT one horse and leadings another. Some of 
the drachms show merely a man mounted. 

Indeed we are told that Gela not only prided 
herself on her victories won on the race track, 
but upon what was, of course, of more im- 
portance — her splendid cavalry. A number of 
her coins represent a four-horse chariot, some 



2 8 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

a two-horse chariot, and occasionally a wounded 
foe being speared to death by a horseman, gal- 
loping or stationary. These coins probably are 
amone the earliest of their kind ever struck. 

The most ancient of all representations of 
Sicilian horses, however, which serve to prove 
that the Sicilians were beyond doubt a horse- 
loving race, is the quadriga on one of the metopes 
of the archaic temple of Silenus, believed to have 
been founded in 628 B.C. 

While upon the subject of sculpture, casual 
reference must be made to the notorious Wooden 
Horse of Troy, described fully in Homer and 
alluded to centuries later by Virgil, the horse of 
which the famous sculptor, Strongylon, made a 
model in bronze towards probably the close of 
the fifth century. 

The story of this horse hardly needs repetition, 
but briefly it is to the effect that soon after 
Hector's death Ulysses commanded Epeios to 
construct a wooden horse of great size that osten- 
sibly was to be used as an offering to the gods to 
please them and thus ensure a safe voyage back 
to Greece. 

Unsuspectful of treachery, the Trojans received 
the great effigy and brought it into their city; 
whereupon, in the dead of night, the Greek 
soldiers hidden within it crept cautiously out, 
pounced silently upon the Trojan guards and slew 
them before they could defend themselves ; then 



WOODEN HORSE OF TROY 29 

opened the gates of Troy, let in their own soldiery, 
and finally set fire to the city. 

Menelaus is said to have been amonof the 
Greeks concealed in the wooden horse. 

If evidence in addition to that already given 
be needed to prove that the ancient Greeks held 
horses in high esteem, and that the Grecian con- 
quests were probably in a great measure due to the 
help afforded by the possession of horses, notice 
has only to be taken of the vastness of the space 
occupied by the Athenian cavalry shown on the 
Parthenon frieze. 

Indeed at about this period probably no accom- 
plishment was quite so highly esteemed as horse- 
manship, with the result that the wealthy classes 
began to pay special attention to the training 
their sons received in it, while treatises were 
published upon the art and how best it might 
be acquired. 

The first horsemen of whom we have indis- 
putably authentic records invariably rode bare- 
back, and, with the exception of the Libyans, 
used some sort of bit. According to Xenophon 
— and apparently no other historian of his time is 
so thoroughly to be trusted for strict accuracy — 
the Greeks of the fifth century B.C. were almost 
as fastidious upon the subject of bits and bittings 
as some hunting men of to-day are. 



30 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Some writers upon this subject have erred. 
Thus the impression is prevalent that the horses 
of the ancient Greeks were all much smaller than 
modern horses, and the steeds shown on the 
Parthenon frieze are sometimes said to afford 
proof that this was so. A proportion of the 
horses of those early times undoubtedly were 
smaller than the modern horse is, but on the 
other hand plenty were not. Probably the mis- 
taken critics base their assertion upon the fact 
that the men shown on the Parthenon frieze and 
similar compositions, also on some of the vase 
paintings of that period, apparently are as tall 
as, or taller than, the horses beside which they 
are standing or on which they are mounted. 

The reason men and horses are so represented 
simply is that according to a standard rule of 
ancient Greek art the heads of men and animals, 
and of all other figures shown on such composi- 
tions, must be as nearly as possible upon a level, 
even though some of the figures may be standing, 
some seated, some on horseback, some in chariots. 

This rule, known as " Isokelismos," is of 
course in direct opposition to the rule of nature, 
yet as it existed it had to be observed, and 
therefore no attempt should ever be made to 
compare the height of men or beasts shown 
in such representations as the Parthenon frieze 
merely by the appearance and the proportions 
they present. By observing how far below 



WHITE HORSES 31 

the horses' bellies the feet of the mounted men 
hang, an approximate idea of the height of the 
men by comparison with that of some of their 
horses may be arrived at. 



Herodotus is of opinion that about the year 
480 B.C. finer horses were owned by the Nisaean 
than by any other people of Asia, and he men- 
tions that white horses were so highly valued 
by the Persians of about that period — who are 
known to have used many white horses for 
sacrificial purposes — that "some three hundred 
and sixty horses, or about one for every day in the 
year, and five hundred talents of silver," was the 
tribute sent by the Sicilians. This statement 
leads to the conclusion that white horses must 
have been exceptionally plentiful in the region. 

That Armenia had many horses, which were 
largely used even so far back as the fifth cen- 
tury B.C., can be gathered from the writings of 
Ezekiel, for the prophet does not hesitate to 
declare that the people of Togarmah, which pre- 
sumably was part of Armenia, traded in the fairs 
in horses and mules. 

Pindar, who so glorified King Arcesilas, tells 
us that Cyrene became famous as the city of 
steeds and goodly chariots, and later the poet 
Callimachus sang" of his home "famed for her 



32 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

steeds." Hiero II. of Syracuse owed practically 
all his sfreat successes to the fact that he owned 
horses of considerable value, and to this day 
figures in marble of horses dedicated by him in 
commemoration of his victories at Olympia are 
to be seen in the local museum of Delphi. 

Almost every year attempts are made by 
wealthy Americans and others to purchase 
some of these figures, but down to the present 
such attempts have proved of no avail. 

Plato, again, has much to say upon the horse 
in its relation to the history of his epoch. Thus 
in one place he writes : " We must mount our 
children on horses in their earliest youth, and 
take them on horseback to see war, in order that 
they may learn to ride ; the horses must not be 
spirited or warlike, but the most tractable and yet 
the swiftest that can be had ; in this way they 
will get an excellent view of what is hereafter 
to be their business ; and if there is danger they 
have only to follow their elder leaders and escape." 

Agrigentum — until 405 B.C., when it was 
destroyed by the Carthaginians — was famous 
for its horses. It is said that on one occasion, 
when one of the best-known citizens. Exaenetus, 
won the principal chariot race at Olympus, the 
entire population came forth to meet him, and 
that he was preceded into the city by 300 
chariots drawn by pairs of white horses. In- 
deed some of the most gorgeous monuments 







7a5 .- 
^ z < z 

2 < = < 



5 = 2< 

2, 5 < .- a 



S S 2 f i 
^ ^ n t < 



THE PROCESSION OF XERXES t,:^, 

ever erected to the memory of famous race horses 
were those raised in this city during the period 
of its splendour. 



We have it on good authority that, some 
centuries before Christ, the Persian men of rank 
deemed it derogatory to be seen on foot, and 
that they habitually rode on horseback. Yet in 
common with the people of many other races 
they were addicted to immolating horses on 
festival days, while the practices in which they 
indulged upon these occasions are said to have 
been barbarous in the extreme. 

In almost every age white horses in particular 
would seem to have been used for sacrificial 
purposes. The Persians sacrificed bulls as well 
as horses, a bull and a horse being sometimes 
bound together and then immolated. Arrian 
mentions that one horse at least was sacrificed 
to Cyrus every month, the ceremony being 
usually performed at Pasargadea, close to the 
famous tomb. Here again white horses were 
used for the sacrifices, for among the Persians in 
particular the white horse was for many centuries 
deemed sacred and pronounced "beloved of the 
gods." 

One of the descriptions that probably gives 
a true account of a triumphal march in the third 
c 



34 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

century B.C. is that of Herodotus, where he 
describes the procession of Xerxes. The follow- 
ing order, he tells us, was observed. 

There came first looo carefully selected horse- 
men, then lOOO carefully selected spearsmen, then 
ten sacred Nissean horses " splendidly capari- 
soned." These horses were called Nissean, we 
are incidentally told, because they were especially 
reared on the plains of Nisaea, in Media, at that 
period famous for its great horses. 

Next came the sacred car of Zeus, drawn by 
eight white horses "followed by charioteers on 
foot holding their bridles, for no mortal was 
allowed to mount the seat." Xerxes himself 
brought up the train, usually in a chariot drawn 
by Nissean horses, with his charioteer beside 
him. 



The people of almost every nation of whom 
we have authentic records would appear to have 
been addicted in the centuries before Christ to 
the atrocious practice of sacrificing live horses 
to their gods. Particulars of the weird rites 
observed in connection with these sacrifices are 
for the most part too revolting to be described 
here, but one practice observed by the Scythians 
cannot well be passed unnoticed. 

This people inhabited chiefly the treeless 



HORSES AND MEN SACRIFICED ^5 

steppes of Asia, and is known to have sacrificed 
animals of many kinds, but horses most of all, 
and usually white or dun horses. 

Thus we are told that when a Scythian king 
died, his favourite horse, his favourite concubine, 
and several important members of his establish- 
ment, preferably his cook and his cupbearer, 
were buried with him. When a year had passed, 
a further ceremony took place. 

This consisted in the execution, generally by 
strangulation, of some fifty of the strongest, 
handsomest and generally most desirable young 
men — probably young men who had belonged 
to his suite — and in the strangulation also of an 
equal number of the best horses that had be- 
longed to him. 

Then, without delay, the bodies of men and 
horses were disembowelled, next they were 
stuffed with chaff or straw, and finally when the 
horses, supplied each with a bit and bridle, had 
been set up in a circle round the tomb of the 
deceased monarch, the bodies of the slaughtered 
men were set astride them. 

And there the ghastly squadron remained until 
it fell away to dust. 

That the literary records in which these grue- 
some details are to be found are accurate, has to 
some extent been proved by discoveries made from 
time to time — as for instance at the opening of 
the great tumuli in Russia about half-a-century ago. 



S6 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Indeed during the thirteenth century a.d. 
ceremonies equally revolting are known to have 
been performed regularly among the Tartars, 
while at the funeral of Frederic Casimir, Com- 
mander of Lorraine, in 1781, a horse was killed, 
and then buried with its master, and at even so 
recent a date as the funeral of Li Hung Chang a 
horse and chariot made of paper were, according 
to the newspaper reports, burned at the grave- 
side — probably a last survival of some weird rite 
of a sacrificial nature observed formerly in China 
and Japan. 

Another race known to have immolated live 
horses, especially white horses, was the Veneti. 
This people lived at the head of the Adriatic, 
and their name survives to this day in "Venice." 

The sacrifice of white horses was common 
too amongst the Scandinavian and the Teutonic 
races, and formed part of their religion. The 
Sicilian Greeks, again, are said to have set a 
high value upon white horses, and to have sacri- 
ficed them under the impression that by doing 
so they afforded additional gratification to their 
gods. 

It would appear, indeed, that in all ages white 
animals were looked upon as sacred in a sense, 
for in parts of India the white elephant is deemed 
sacred to this day, and in parts of Persia the 
white ass. Then, in the fifth century b.c, the 
nomad Scythians, whose territories lay chiefly 



THE HORSE OF DARIUS 37 

to the north of the River Don, owned immense 
herds of horses. These they used principally 
for food, while the milk of the mares they drank 
and made domestic use of in other ways, a prac- 
tice long in vogue among the Turko-Tartaric 
tribes of Central Asia, and said to be still in 
vogue with them in remote regions. 

Bearing upon early Persia is rather a well- 
known story that on the death of the famous 
Smerdis the seven princes who were his possible 
successors agreed to confer the throne upon the 
owner of the horse that should be the first to 
neigh when they all met on the following day. 
The groom of Prince Darius having been told of 
this, had recourse to a clever ruse, for on that 
same evening he led his master's horse to the 
exact spot where the horses were all to meet on 
the day following, and there showed the horse a 
mare. Upon arriving at this spot next day the 
horse, as we are told, "neighed furiously," so 
that Darius won his kingdom ! 

We know that Hiero, King of Syracuse, who 
flourished towards the end of the third and during 
the beginning of the second century, b.c, won 
the great Olympic crown with his good horse 
Phrenicus. In simple language Tacitus describes 
how the people of Thurii — the city built on the 
ruins of Sybaris about the year 443 b.c. — first 
tausfht horse racing- to the Romans. 

Although towards the end of the second cen- 



38 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

tury B.C., bareback riding was still quite common, 
a covering of some sort for the horse's back was 
becoming much more popular among the Greeks 
despite the adherence to bareback riding by the 
jockeys at the principal festivals. Atiphanes, 
the "gentle humourist," whose plays were per- 
formed in public for the first time towards the 
close of the second century B.C., alludes to 
"coverlets for a horse," this being probably one 
of the first references we have to saddles among 
the early Greeks. 



And now we come to Xenophon, one of the 
most finished of horsemen among the ancient 
Greeks, and apparently a true lover of horses. 
With the exception of an individual named Simo, 
or Simon, who wrote before Xenophon's time, 
there had not existed a man with deep and 
practical knowledge of horses or horsemanship, 
and the care of horses, who was able to write 
lucidly upon these subjects until Xenophon 
wrote with so much success his own e.xhaustive 
work. 

Xenophon speaks of Simo — who, according to 
Suidas, was by birth an Athenian — on more than 
one occasion. Xenophon, however, did not hold 
Simo in high esteem, as we may gather from the 
former's tone of condescension when he states that 



XENOPHON AND SIMO 39 

thouo-h Simo wrote with some knowledore of 
horses, yet that he entertained an exalted opinion 
of himself that was unpardonable. 

The truth of that statement is borne out by 
the evidence we have that when, on a famous 
occasion, Simo presented the brazen horse to the 
temple of the Eleusinian Ceres, at Athens, he 
had the effrontery to engrave upon the pedestal 
his own works ! 

Though when expressing opinions upon the 
points of a horse the ancient Greeks differed 
rather widely in their views, yet most of the 
rules laid down by Xenophon are as applicable 
to-day as they were some three and twenty 



centuries ago. 



We read, for instance, that "the neck of the 
horse, as it proceeds from the chest, should not 
fall forward, like that of a boar, but should grow 
upward, like that of a cock, and should have an 
easy motion at the parts about the arch." That 
the advice was not overlooked, even by early 
artists, can be accurately conjectured if the 
Parthenon frieze be inspected, for there almost 
every horse shown has a neck " like that of a 
cock." Xenophon then proceeds : 

" If a horse has the thighs under the tail broad 
and not distorted, he will set his hind legs well 
apart, and will by that means have a firmer and 
quicker step, a better seat for a rider, and be 
better in every respect. We may see," he con- 



40 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

tinues, " a proof of this in men, who when they 
wish to take up anything from the ground do try 
to raise it by setting their legs apart rather than 
by bringing them together." 

These remarks are sensible, yet probably there 
are few modern horsemen ready to admit that a 
horse's hoof should be high and hollow, and the 
frog kept up from the ground "as well before as 
behind," which was Xenophon's opinion. Then in 
his time saddles and stirrups had not, apparently, 
been thought of, for we read that when first 
introduced they were looked upon with scorn, all 
who used them beingr laughed at and deemed to 
take rank among what we should call in these 
days " muffs." 

As already noted, Xenophon had something to 
say upon bits and bitting, and he describes at 
length the advantages of the jointed over the 
riirid bit. Also he alludes to the custom of 
wearing spurs, and describes incidentally the con- 
struction of the prick spurs then in vogue. 

In this connection it is interesting to note that 
a bit was discovered in the Acropolis of Athens 
some twenty years ago, which, so it is said, dates 
back to the early Persian wars of 490-479 B.C. 



EARLY HORSESHOES 41 

Certain modern writers of books upon subjects 
more or less historical speak of horse doctors. 
Some twenty - three centuries ago, however, 
even the acknowledged experts upon horses and 
horse breeding would seem to have possessed 
only crude anatomical knowledge of the animal, 
some of the advice they tendered in cases of 
illness amongst horses being grotesque. 

Equally it is evident that professional horse 
breakers and trainers, also professional riding 
masters, were known in Greece in Xenophon's 
day, and possibly before his time. 

There is something rather delightful about 
Xenophon's ingenuousness when he tells us quite 
seriously that " a horse that has no longer the 
marks in his teeth, neither rejoices the buyer 
with hope, nor is easy to be exchanged"! He 
speaks too with emphasis when assuring us that 
when carefully examining a horse with a view to 
purchase we ought to pay most attention to the 
hoofs — advice to some extent discounted by 
remarks he makes a few lines further on. 

"To sum up all in a few words," he says else- 
where, "whatever horse has good feet, is mild- 
tempered, sufficiently swift, and able to endure 
fatigue, and is in the highest degree obedient, 
will probably give least trouble to his rider and 
contribute most to his safety in military occupa- 
tions. But horses that from sluggishness require 
a great deal of driving, or, from excess of mettle, 



42 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

much coaxing and care, afford plenty of employ- 
ment to the rider, as well as much apprehension 
in time of danger." 

The ancients evidently had a rooted antipathy 
to adopting any kind of contrivance calculated to 
afford protection for their horses' hoofs. Upon 
several occasions attempts were made to introduce 
metal horseshoes, but in vain. The device most 
resembling a horseshoe, that they were willing 
to consider and of which we have a trustworthy 
description, was a covering not unlike a sandal 
made of reeds, or, in rare instances, of leather. 
In reality it resembled a boot rather than a horse- 
shoe, but it was used only where the ground was 
very rough or exceptionally hard. 

In parts of Japan boots of this kind, made of 
straw, are worn to this day. Berenger speaks of 
a horseshoe said to have been in use in the time 
of Childeric, whose date was 481, a.d., and most 
likely it was one of the first horseshoes, properly 
so called, of which any record is extant. 

If the figure of it preserved in Montfaucon's 
" Antiquities " is to be relied upon for accuracy, 
then it somewhat resembled the shoe in use 
to-day. 

It seems clear that Xenophon was not an 
advocate for docking horses' tails, at any rate to 
the exaoraerated extent we so often see them 
docked to-day, also that he was not partial to the 
hogged mane, for in speaking of the horse's fore- 



ANCIENT METHODS OF MOUNTING 43 

lock, "while these hairs," he avers, "though of 
good length, do not prevent the horse from seeing, 
they brush away from his eyes whatever annoys 
them. Therefore we may suppose that the gods 
gave such hairs to the horse instead of the long 
ears which they have given to asses and mules 
to be a protection to the eyes." 



A question sometimes set when the subject of 
early horsemanship is under discussion is : How 
used the ancients to mount, seeing that they 
placed at best only cloths on their horses' backs, 
and that they had not stirrups ? 

Historical records contain information upon 
the point, and we read that in the centuries 
before Christ horses were mounted apparently in 
three ways — by the rider's vaulting without 
assistance on to the back ; by his vaulting or 
mounting with the aid of a pole ; by his making 
the horse crouch. 

There was a fourth way, but for an obvious 
reason it was less often resorted to. This was 
by making a slave bend his back, or kneel on all 
fours, and by then stepping upon him — using him 
as a mounting-block, in short. The last-named 
method was common in Persia, where Sapor, 
when he had conquered the Emperor Valerian, 
forced him thus to debase himself to show his 
complete subjection. 



44 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

I believe I am right in saying that the soldiery 
used sometimes to mount with the aid of a spear. 
Xenophon, in his seventh chapter, instructs the 
horseman to mount "by catching hold of the 
mane, about the ears," a feat surely impossible 
to perform save when mounting a pony. 

In the illustration of a Sarmatian on horseback, 
facing page 33, both a man and horse are 
shown in armour made of horse-hoof cut into 
little plates, which, Pausanias tells us in his Attics, 
were sewn together with the sinews of oxen and 
horses. Sometimes bone was used in place of 
horse-hoof, but iron never, there being no iron 
mines in the country, to the knowledge of the 
Sarmatians. The soldier shown holding up his 
horse's leg, in the illustration facing page 45, 
presumably is about to tie on one of the 
"stockings" used in place of shoes; and on 
the same plate a soldier is about to mouut on 
the off (right) side. 





roman soldier about to adjust 
"stocking'' used in place of 

SHOES 



ROMAN SOLDIER ABOUT TO MOUNT 
ON OFF SIDE 




A MAURIIANIAN HORSEMAN. SH<1\VINU HOW THE MAORITANIANS ANO HIMIDIASS RODE 
WITMOUI" SADDLE I'R BRIDLE 



CHAPTER III 

Xenophon disliked the " American " seat — Cavalry organised by 
the Athenians — Cost of horses twenty-three centuries ago — 
Aristophanes ; Aristotle ; Athenians' fondness for horse racing — 
Alexander the Great ; Bucephalus — Story of Bucephalus ; his 
death — Famous painters of horses : Apelles, Pauson, Micon — 
Mythical flesh-eating horses of Diomed — Hannibal's cavalry of 
12,000 horse — Coins — Posidonius ; horses of the Parthians, 
Iberians and Celtiberians 

TN spite of the derisive remarks often uttered 
concerning Xenophon's advice to young riders, 
and his advice on horsemanship in general and 
the care of horses, there is much sound sense in 
plenty of the hints he gave to the Greek riders of 
three hundred years before Christ, while many of 
the rules he laid down are as applicable to-day as 
they probably were then. 

His advice on the vexed question of bits and 
bitting, to take but a single example, is very 
sound, while his strong objection to allowing 
horses' legs to be washed frequently is shared by 
plenty of horse owners at the present time. 

Then, the old Athenian apparently disapproved 
of or disliked what we have come to call the 
" American " seat on a horse, for he declares that 
the legs of a man mounted should be almost 
straight, the body upright and supple. 
45 



46 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Attempts have repeatedly been made to trace 
the Hfe of Xenophon prior to the time when, 
in 401 B.C., he first joined the army of Cyrus, 
but in vain. He is, however, known to have 
been a close friend of Socrates from a very 
early age, and probably when he wrote the 
"Anabasis" he was a little over thirty. But 
when he died, about the year 355 B.C., he was 
quite an old man. 

Historians are almost unanimous in declaring 
that at Marathon, in 490 B.C., the Athenians were 
without cavalry, though by that time many of 
the wealthy citizens undoubtedly owned horses, 
some of which they most likely used for racing. 
When, however, the Athenians came to realise 
what an amount of execution could be done, 
and to see the execution that v/as done by the 
Persians, with the help of cavalry, they set to 
work to organise in Athens, as quickly as possible, 
a powerful body of mounted warriors. 

How formidable that cavalry later on proved 
itself to be is well known to all classical scholars, 
and the more surprising it therefore is that 
the Greek cavalry should not afterwards have 
risen to the level of that organised by Mace- 
donians. Indeed, according to more than one 
historian, the Greek cavalry was employed chiefly 
to harass an enemy when marching, or to pursue 
a vanquished and retreating regiment, while one 
writer at least maintains that the Greek cavalry 



COST OF HORSES 47 

at best never approached within javelin range of 
an enemy's line of battle during an attack, 

The cost of horses at about this time varied 
almost as widely as it does now. Thus it was 
not unusual to pay three minse, the equivalent of 
about fifteen guineas, for quite a common hack — 
an extraordinarily high price when we bear in 
mind the purchasing value of money in those 
days — while for trained war horses, or for race 
horses, any sum from ten minse upward was paid 
frequently. 

Xenophon is known to have given approxim- 
ately eleven minae for a little war horse that, so 
far as one can ascertain, did not afterwards fulfil 
expectations, so perhaps it is hardly astonishing 
to read that some years later the terms "horse 
owner" and "spendthrift" came to be deemed 
more or less synonymous. 

A list drawn up at about this time of the 
principal defects to be guarded against when 
inspecting a horse with a view to purchase is 
interesting, inasmuch as the points looked upon 
as faults three and twenty centuries ago are with 
only a few exceptions deemed to be egregious 
defects to-day. 

The following Is the list that was drawn up, 
so it is alleged, by Pollux : 

Hoofs with thin horn (su) ; hoofs full, fat, soft 
and flat — or, as Xenophon termed them, "low- 
lying " ; heavy fetlocks ; shanks with varicose 



48 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

veins ; flabby thighs ; hollow shoulder-blades ; 
projecting neck ; bald mane ; narrow chest ; fat 
and heavy head ; large ears ; converging nostrils ; 
sunken eyes ; thin and meagre sides ; sharp back- 
bone ; rough haunches ; thin buttocks ; stiff legs, 
stiff knees. 

Though among the horses of the ancient Greeks 
the hogged mane must at one time have been 
seen often enough, there does not appear to be 
in the works of the early writers any direct 
allusion to the hogging of horses as a regular 
practice. 

Probably if the custom did exist it was on 
the wane by the time Xenophon began to write. 
There is evidence to show that in ancient Greece 
the horses at about this period were rather smaller 
than those of most other countries of which we 
have authentic records, a characteristic still notice- 
able amongst the horses in several parts of modern 
Greece. 

The Greeks almost always used entire horses 
for all purposes. Even in war they did not 
employ geldings, a custom that has given rise 
to the belief that in the centuries before Christ 
all horses, with the exception of the Libyan 
steeds, were far more savage than the horses 
of to-day. 

Emphatically we have no reason to suppose 
that the Greeks made friends and companions of 
their horses as the Arab race is known to do or to 



PLEASURE HORSES OF THE GREEKS 49 

have done, though the fable of Achilles' love for 
his horse named Xanthus makes a pretty enough 
story. On the other hand, it is quite possible 
that Xenophon may have been fond of horses 
not merely because of the amusement they 
afforded him or the pleasure he derived from 
riding and hunting. 

For the rest the Greeks, in common with the 
people of most of the warlike nations in those 
early days, enjoyed possessing horses mainly 
because they served to enhance life's pleasure, 
and were of practical use in war. 

Certainly it may be said of Xenophon that 
he did not preach the doctrine of kindness to 
horses without himself practising it thoroughly, 
also that he was ever ready to rebuke severely 
all who ill-treated their own horses or his. 

Apparently the Greeks of about this era did 
not keep what we should term to-day pleasure 
horses, though they affected pleasure horses in 
the sense that they kept race horses. With the 
death of Xenophon we lose touch, to some extent, 
with the progress of the horse in history, but the 
thread is taken up again in the Roman period 
when Varro, writing in t^"] b.c, furnishes certain 
details that are of interest, Virgil adding to them 
a little later in his " Georgics." 

After that we find instructive comment in the 
writings of Calpurnius and Columella in the first 
century a.d. ; in those of Oppian and Nemesian 



so THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

in the third century ; and in those of Apsyrtus, 
Pelagonius and Palladius in the fourth century. 



When all is said, Xenophon's information most 
likely is by far the most trustworthy of any that 
has been handed down to us, in the same way 
that his descriptions certainly are the most ac- 
curate. Only a few fragments of the book by 
Simo, written probably about the year 460 B.C., 
remain ; yet even those fragments contain peculiar 
statements. 

Thus in addition to insinuating that Thessaly 
was the only region famous for horses in the 
centuries before Christ — an assertion indirectly 
gainsaid by Xenophon — he didactically remarks 
that the colour of a horse ouo^ht not to be taken 
into consideration when the animal's qualities are 
being summed up, a statement that the majority 
of the early writers openly repudiated, and that, 
as most of us know, is in every country deemed 
devoid of truth at the present day. 

Though particulars are difficult to obtain, there 
is reason to believe that the horse named after 
the Thracian river, Strvmon — owincr to its havingf 
been bred in that vicinity — and that was immolated 
by Xerxes before his invasion of Greece, was, as 
usual, a white horse. 

By exactly what route horses were introduced 



ATHENIANS FOND OF HORSE RACING 51 

into Greece has not been ascertained for certain, 
but the fact that fossilised remains of horses have 
not been found in Greece as they have been in 
many other countries leads to the belief that the 
horse was not indigenous to the country. 

From a very remote period, however, we find 
horses represented on vase paintings ; and from 
these paintings too we are able practically to 
prove that the Greeks had not rowels in their 
primitive spurs, but that the spur consisted of a 
short goad attached to the heel of the boot by 
means of a strap passing over the instep and 
another that passed under the sole, almost as the 
modern hunting spur is strapped on. Spurs of 
this kind have been discovered in Olympia, also 
in Ma^na Graecia, and elsewhere. 

With regard to the Greek bits and bridles of a 
later date, the former apparently had no leverage 
— certainly they had no curb chain — while the 
pattern of the bridle seems to have remained 
unaltered. 



As we come nearer still to the time of Christ, we 
find the young men of Athens growing fonder and 
fonder of horse racing and taking more pains and 
spending much time and money in their attempts 
to improve the breed of horses. And though 
the soil of Attica was by no means adapted 



52 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

for purposes of horse rearing, it must in justice 
be said that their attempts met with reward. 

Thus it happened that about this time — that is 
to say towards the close of the third or the be- 
ginning of the second century — the comic poet, 
Aristophanes, who died in 380 B.C., began to in- 
veigh against the increasing popularity of horse 
racing, and against the spread of gambling con- 
sequent thereon. 

In his immortal comedy of The Clouds, it 
will be remembered, he portrays a typical young 
spendthrift, Pheidippes, and an equally typical 
indignant father, Strepsiades, both of whom 
would serve well as latter-day types of men of 
the same stamp. 

The son, when the comedy opens, has lost 
heavily on the turf and incurred the displeasure, 
not to say roused the indignation, of his father, in 
addition to burdening the old man heavily with 
his gambling debts. Presently the son is sued 
by Pasion, a characteristic usurer of that period, 
for the recovery of the entire sum of twelve 
minai. 

" For what with debts and duns and stable- 
keepers' bills," Strepsiades exclaims in exaspera- 
tion in the opening lines, addressing his son 
Pheidippes, who lies asleep before him — " what 
with debts and duns and stablekeepers' bills which 
this fine spark heaps on my back, I lie awake the 
whilst : and what cares he but to coil up his locks, 



AVERAGE SPAN OF LIFE 53 

ride, drive his horses, dream of them all night. ..." 
And so on. 

This gives us, to start with, an idea of the de- 
gree of popularity that horse racing had attained 
in Greece at about this time, for Pheidippes is 
meant to be a character drawn from life and 
typical of the young punters of the period. 

Later we learn that the money for which the 
father is being sued had, in the first instance, 
been borrowed to pay for a "starling-coloured 
horse " — whatever kind of weird creature that may 
have been. Possibly " fleabitten " is intended, 
for the geographer, Strabo, speaks of "the starling- 
coloured horses of the Parthians " and of the 
people of Northern Spain, and it is known that 
plenty of those horses were of the colour that we 
should term to-day "-fleabitten." 



Aristotle is the next to enlighten us to some 

extent upon the growing fondness of the Greeks 

for horses, especially for race horses and war 

horses. He tells us too that about the average 

span the horses in his time — the middle of the 

(T second century B.C., 384 to 322 — lived was 

i^ eighteen to twenty years, though a few were 

said to have reached five and twenty, and even 

thirty, and a very few indeed to have died at fifty. 

Whether the custom that then prevailed of feed- 



54 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

ing horses mostly on barley proved beneficial 
or the reverse in the long run we are not told. 
Finally we come to Alexander the Great and his 
renowned Bucephalus, a horse bred, as we are 
told, by Philoneicus of Pharsalus, a Thessalian. 

Bucephalus, or rather Bucephabj, means ox 
head, or bull head, from which we may conclude 
that whatever good points Bucephalus may have 
had — and without doubt he had many — he 
certainly had not the fine head of a modern 
hunter or the tapering muzzle of the thorough- 
bred that nowadays we so much admire. 

It has been stated that Bucephalus derived his 
name from a mark on the left shoulder in the form 
more or less of a bull's head. As we know, how- 
ever, that many years before Alexander's Buce- 
phalus was foaled there existed a type of Thes- 
salian horse upon which the same name had been 
bestowed, the conjecture is probably a false one. 

How great the fame of Bucephalus was may 
be gathered from the fact that of all the horses 
possessed by the ancient Greeks down to this 
date he alone is the animal over which they 
thoroughly " enthuse." From what we are 
told in the writings of Aristotle, indeed, and 
of later historians, Bucephalus must have been 
quite a tall horse, well shaped, coal-black, with a 
good shoulder and small ears. Also he had a 
white star in the middle of his forehead, a mark 
characteristic of certain Libvan breeds of old. 




:_ ^ 



THE STORY OF BUCEPHALUS S5 

An unknown writer in the " Geoponics " avers 
that in the centuries just before Christ many of 
the best horses had eyes of different colour — what 
we sometimes term a wall eye, and Americans a 
China eye — and from his own deductions he con- 
cludes that Bucephalus probably had eyes that 
did not match. There does not, however, appear 
to be direct evidence that this w^as so. 

Plutarch sets the price paid for Bucephalus 
by Alexander's father, King Philip, at thirteen 
talents, while Pliny is of opinion that the price 
was higher still — namely, sixteen talents. 

Now the sum that to-day would be the equiva- 
lent of thirteen talents is approximately ^3500, 
and when we bear in mind the prices that in the 
second century frequently were paid even for 
the best horses obtainable, and recollect, in 
addition, that at the time King Philip bought 
Bucephalus the horse was probably aged — some 
writers aver that he must have been quite 
fourteen when Philip bought him — it is not 
possible to reconcile the statement that a fancy 
price in any way approaching the sum named 
could have been paid. 

The story of the trial and subsequent purchase 
of Bucephalus is both pretty and picturesque. 
More, it would appear to be true in almost every 
detail. According to Plutarch, whose account 
probably is the most trustworthy, the horse was 
first brought before King Philip to be given a 



S6 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

public trial, when, to the discomfiture of its owner, 
it showed itself to be apparently "a fierce and 
unmanageable beast that would neither allow 
anybody to mount him, nor obey any of Philip's 
attendants, but reared and plunged against them 
all, so that the king in a rage bade them take 
him away for an utterly wild and unbroken 
brute." 

At this juncture it was that Alexander — at the 
time a boy of twelve, and Aristotle not yet his 
tutor — came upon the scene. We are told that 
he "leapt suddenly forward and in an access of 
indignation cried out before the king and every- 
body assembled that the men attempting to ride 
the horse were ' clumsy clowns,' " adding, with 
the self-assurance of precocious boyhood, that " if 
they were not careful they would spoil the horse 
entirely." 

Philip at first paid no attention to his son's 
outburst, deeming it to be childish spleen, but 
upon the lad's refusing to be quieted he turned 
to him, suddenly nettled, and demanded in a sharp 
tone how he dare be so insolent as to criticise his 
elders. In no way abashed, Alexander retorted 
that in this instance he certainly did know much 
better than his elders, and that if his father 
would allow him he would prove it by himself 
mounting the horse at once and riding it round 
the ring. 

" And what will you forfeit for your rashness if 



THE STORY OF BUCEPHALUS 57 

you are thrown off?" the king inquired, not 
troubling to conceal his anger. 

To which young Alexander retorted with much 
spirit : 

" The price of the horse, by Zeus ! " 

It is hardly likely that Alexander, rash though 
he undoubtedly was, would have said this if the 
price at which Bucephalus was valued amounted 
to a sum in talents equivalent to thousands of 
pounds, for King Philip though a just ruler was 
a stern father, and Alexander must have known 
that his father would extort the forfeit should he 
fail to ride the horse. 

The lad's reply, we are told, was received with 
shouts of laughter. This public expression of 
ridicule it may have been that set the boy upon 
his mettle, for without further parley he ran out 
into the arena, ordered his father's attendants 
aside, and then, grasping the reins, began to pat 
the horse's neck and "soothe him with soft 
words," 

For the boy had observed what apparently 
nobody else had noticed — namely, that the horse 
grew restive at the sight of its own shadow. 
Without waiting, therefore, he turned the horse 
to face the sun, then at once "sprang up and 
bestrode him unharmed." Next, gradually and 
very gently, and using neither whip nor spur, he 
made Bucephalus move round and round in a 
circle until the animal no longer feared its shadow 



58 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

and then when it had, as we are told, " given up 
all threatening behaviour, and was only hot for the 
course," he gave the horse its head, "urging him 
onward by raising his voice and using his heel." 

At the sight of this fine display of horse break- 
ing and horsemanship the spectators, now some- 
what abashed at the haste they had been in to 
jeer, grew silent. But not for long. Presently, as 
Alexander came galloping back, " full of just pride 
and pleasure," the assembled multitude, including 
the king's attendants, "of one accord raised a 
great cheer, lifting up their hands from pure 

joy." 

Philip himself must have been of an emotional 
nature, for we read that "he said nothing, but 
wept silently from pure joy." 

Possibly the lad too suffered from "pure joy" 
at that moment, for upon his dismounting his 
father advanced with the remark that Macedonia 
was "not big enough for such a son," that he 
" must 2fO look for a kinodom to match him." 

Which shows that even in the centuries before 
Christ there was truth in the popular platitude 
that nothing succeeds like success ! 

Then and there Bucephalus was bought for 
Alexander, and from that time until its death, 
from wounds received in a battle fought against 
the Indian king, Porus, the horse remained 
Alexander's favourite charger and companion. 

A remarkable peculiarity about this animal was 



THE STORY OF BUCEPHALUS 59 

that though subsequently it came to allow the 
grooms to ride it bareback, yet when it had on 
one of the cloths that at that period did duty for 
a saddle it would allow only Alexander to mount 
it. As one writer neatly says : " When others 
tried to mount the horse with the cloth on they 
invariably had to take to their heels to save them- 
selves from his." It is further recorded that when 
Alexander wished to mount, Bucephalus would 
crouch of its own accord to enable its master to 
get on more easily. 

Alexander took Bucephalus with him on his 
famous expeditions into the East, and on one 
occasion, in Hyrcania, the horse was stolen. The 
king " thereupon became terrible to see, so great 
was his rage." At once an edict was issued that 
unless the horse were returned to him without 
delay he would " carry fire and sword throughout 
the country — north and south, east and west, 
sparing neither men nor women, nor, if need be, 
even the smallest children." 

A chronicler of the period, commenting upon 
this, drily observes that when Alexander's deter- 
mination became known, " the horse was returned 
in a hurry ! " 

"Thus," remarks Arrian, the great historian, 
" the horse must have been as dear to Alexander 
as Alexander was terrible to the barbarians." As 
he here employs the word " barbarian " in its 
offensive signification he evidently despised the 



6o THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

people of Hyrcania because they had sense enough 
to return the stolen horse instead of waiting with 
their kith and kin to be slain or tortured ! 

In the descriptions of almost all the great 
victories won by Alexander the Great, allusion 
is made to his favourite steed. We are told by 
Gellius that in the battle that practically witnessed 
the death of Bucephalus the king had pressed 
forward recklessly into the thick of the fight, and 
apparently right into the enemy's lines, and had 
thus become " the mark for every spear " — a state- 
ment which, if literally true, points to an enemy 
made up of singularly inept marksmen. 

"More than one spear," he goes on, "was 
buried in the neck and flanks of the horse, but, 
though at the point of death, and almost drained 
of blood, he succeeded with a bold dash in carry- 
ing the king from the very midst of the foe, and 
then fell, breathing his last tranquilly now that he 
knew his master was safe, and as comforted by 
the knowledge as if he had had the feelings of a 
human beinor." 

There is something about the concluding 
sentence that leads to the belief that Gellius must 
have been either remarkably imaginative, or else 
of a more romantic nature than the majority of 
his contemporaries have given him credit for be- 
ing. The last line in particular is very precious. 
After reading it can one feel astonished at 
Alexander's enthusiasm having carried him to 



FAMOUS PAINTERS OF HORSES 6i 

the length of causing him to build a city to the 
memory of the noble steed, a city to which he 
gave the name Bucephala ? 

The handsome bronze discovered in Hercu- 
laneum is popularly supposed to represent the 
figures of Alexander and Bucephalus. The work 
probably of Lysippus — whom Alexander himself 
ordered to produce a scene representing a fight 
during the great battle of Granicus — it is 
extremely interesting. 

A pleasing anecdote told of Alexander and 
Bucephalus, and more likely to be true than are 
the majority of the tales that are related of this 
horse and its owner, is to the effect that upon 
one occasion the king went to inspect a portrait 
of himself mounted on his favourite charger, that 
the distinguished painter, Apelles, had just com- 
pleted. 

Nettled at Alexander's scant praise of his work 
— for we are told the picture was so lifelike that 
even Bucephalus neighed when first he saw it — 
Apelles turned to the king with the rebuke : 

" I fear me, your Majesty, that your horse is a 
better judge of painting than his noble master." 

What retort the king made is not recorded, 
but the story recalls one of a similar nature re- 
lated of the famous artist, Pauson, who when 
ordered to produce a picture of a horse rolling on 
its back, sent to his patron a picture of a horse 
galloping madly through a cloud of dust. 



62 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

In a great rage the patron sent for Pauson, 
and, upon his arrival, "began to storm and rave," 
at the same time demanding to know what had 
made him commit a blunder so egregious. With- 
out replying, Pauson walked up to the picture 
and turned it upside down, when, to the vast 
amusement of the hitherto irate patron, there 
appeared a perfect picture of a horse rolling on 
its back on a dusty plain. 

Of the famous artist, Micon, it is related that 
he once incurred the criticism of the rider, Simon, 
who, upon looking at one of his pictures, remarked 
drily that never in his life before had he seen a 
horse that had eyelashes on its lower lids ! 



It seems certain that in the centuries before 
Christ the steeds bred in Thessaly were among 
the most highly prized, though the horses of 
several other breeds — such, for instance, as the 
Argive, the Arcadian, the Epidaurian and the 
Arcananian — possessed great courage and excep- 
tional power of endurance. 

In the very early times Thessalian horses were 
used largely for charioteering. Allusion is made 
repeatedly in the classics to these Thessalian 
animals, stress being laid upon their symmetry, 
or what to-day we should term their make and 
shape. The mythical mares of King Diomed of 



FLESH-EATING HORSES 6;^ 

Thrace, the tyrant whose grim humour, we are 
told, led him to feed his horses on the strangers 
who visited his kingdom, were alleged to be of 
the breed of Thessaly, a statement made indirectly 
in the description of Hercules' conquest of the 
tyrant and his subsequent " casting of the tyrant's 
quivering carcass to his own horses to be de- 
voured," 

Spenser alludes to this incident in the fifth 
book of his " Faerie Queene," in the following 
lines : — 

" Like to the Thracian tyrant who, they say, 
Unto his horses gave his guests for meat, 
Till he himself was made their greedy prey, 
And torn to pieces by Alcides great." 

Other mythical horses of the Thessalian breed 
were those of Achilles, of Rhesus, and of Orestes 
in Sophocles' stirring description of the race in 
Electra. 

It seems safe to say that until about the 
fourth century B.C. the Romans also did not use 
saddles, at least saddles with trees. That some- 
where about this period, however, they began to 
adopt what we should call to-day saddlecloths, 
and that these were kept in place by a strap or 
bandage in the nature of a girth that passed 
beneath the belly, appears to be certain. 

For some unknown reason this girth is more 
often than not omitted on the works of art that 



64 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

represent horses of that period. Some of the 
animals of the Parthenon frieze lead us to 
believe that on occasions horses were still made 
to crouch when about to be mounted, though it 
is not probable they crouched voluntarily, as 
Bucephalus did. From impressions on the 
Parthenon frieze we may also conclude that 
the mounting block was not unknown in the 
centuries before Christ. 

A good idea of the exact stamp of horse har- 
nessed to the war chariots of those centuries may 
be obtained by inspecting the bronze horse of the 
quadriga from the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, 
the date of the Mausoleum being 331-341 B.C. 
— the building took ten years to erect. This 
bronze is to be seen in the British Museum. 

Hannibal's must have been the army the 
best provided with cavalry down to the year 
218 B.C., for in that year Hannibal advanced 
into Italy with no less than 90,000 foot and 
some 12,000 horse, many of the latter being 
native horses mounted by Numidians who 
persisted still in scorning to use either saddle 
or bridle, though the cavalry division, which 
consisted of Spaniards, employed bridles of an 
elaborate pattern. 

How wholly superior Hannibal's cavalry proved 
to be to the Gallic horsemen placed by Scipio in 
the front line of his javelin throwers is well 
known to students of historv. Indeed it was 



PARTHIANS AND IBERIANS 65 

said that Hannibal's horsemen were superior even 
to the Italian and the Roman cavalry, which was 
high praise. 



Probably from about the year 200 b.c, possibly 
from an even earlier period, the Romans used 
spurs, apparently the common prick spurs which 
remained in vogue until towards the middle of 
the thirteenth century a.d. Some half-a-century 
later, or about the year 150 b.c, there were 
issued in succession a series of Gaulish silver 
coins, the majority of which bore upon one 
side the impression of a horseman, though com- 
paratively few showed the chariot at one time so 
generally represented on coins. 

This leads naturally to the inference that the 
popularity of the chariot was already waning. 
Chariots, however, continued to appear upon 
the gold coins made in imitation of the gold 
stater of Philip II. of Macedon, coins that bore 
on the face Apollo's head, on the reverse a two- 
horse chariot. 

Exceptionally fine horses, probably with Liber- 
ian blood in them, must have been owned by the 
Iberians and Celtiberians at about the period 
the Stoic philosopher Posidonius was travelling 
in Western Europe, and when he incidentally 
visited Spain — about the year 90 b.c. Posi- 



66 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

donius himself remarks that the cavalry of the 
Iberians was trained to travel over mountains, 
adding that these horses too would crouch when 
told to, in order that their riders might mount or 
dismount with greater ease. 

A method to which this cavalry sometimes had 
recourse consisted in their mounting^ two men on 
one animal. Then, in the heat of action, one 
of the men would fight on foot, the other re- 
maining by to defend him if hard pressed. The 
same philosopher tells us that the horses of the 
Parthians and Celtiberians "indeed were superior 
to all other breeds in fleetness and endurance." 



CHAPTER IV 

Virgil on the points of a horse — Cesar's invasion — Abolition of 
war chariots — Precursor of the horseshoe — Nero's 2000 mules 
shod with silver ; Poppaea's shod with gold — The Ossianic and 
Cuchulainn epic cycles ; Cuchulainn's horses — The Iceni on New- 
market Heath ; early horse racing in Britain — Horses immolated 
by the Romans ; white horses as prognosticators — Caligula's 
horse, Incitatus ; Celer, the horse of Verus ; the horse of 
Belisarius 

"iriRGIL, whose famous " Georgics " was pub- 
lished about the year 29 B.C., incidentally 
shows how close the connection was that in his 
time existed between men and their horses — 
that is, in so far as the former would probably have 
gained comparatively few victories and made but 
little headway in civilisation had they not been 
materially helped by "man's friend and ally, 
the horse." 

According to Virgil, in the years just before 
Christ the colour least liked in horses intended 
for work was white. " Yellow " also was objected 
to, the prevalent belief being that white or dun 
horses must ipso facto be of weak constitution. 
White markings were not disliked, however, and 
we read that Virgil's Roman youth rode "a 
Thracian steed of two colours," it had a white fore 
foot and a forehead with a white patch. The 
67 



68 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

charger ridden by Turnus was also a Thracian 
horse, with markings somewhat similar. 

The following description in the third book 
of Virgil's " Georgics " gives us most likely an 
approximate idea of some points that were looked 
for in a good horse in the last century B.C. : — 

" Choose with like care the courser's generous breed, 
And from his birth prepare the parent steed. 
His colour mark, select the glossy bay, 
And to the white or dun prefer the grey. 
As yet a colt he stalks with lofty pace. 
And balances his limbs with flexile grace : 
First leads the way, the threatening torrent braves, 
And dares the unknown arch that spans the waves. 
Light on his airy crest his slender head, 
His belly short, his loins luxuriant spread : 
Muscle on muscle knots his brawny breast, 
No fear alarms him, nor vain shouts molest. 
But at the clash of arms, his ear afar 
Drinks the deep sound, and vibrates to the war : 
Flames from each nostril roll in gathered stream, 
His quivering limbs with restless motion gleam. 
O'er his right shoulder, floating full and fair. 
Sweeps his thick mane, and spreads its pomp of hair : 
Swift works his double spine, and earth around 
Rings to his solid hoof that wears the ground." 

Though chariots were still in use among the 
Belgic tribes who inhabited the south-eastern 
portion of the island when, in 55 B.C., Ca?sar 
invaded Britain, cavalry must have been coming 
into vogue with them, for we read that "no 
sooner were these tribes warned to be prepared 



CESAR'S INVASION 69 

for Caesar's contemplated invasion than they sent 
forward cavalry and charioteers, which formed 
their chief arm in warfare." 

The people of North Britain, however, still paid 
but little attention to the advice of the more in- 
telligent among- their chiefs that cavalry ought 
to be adopted and chariots entirely discarded, 
the principle of ultra-conservatism which remains 
one of the most marked characteristics of the 
British nation at the present day being apparently 
in force even in Caesar's time. 

By this period the Gauls, as Caesar soon 
found out, had become a nation composed almost 
wholly of knights. Yet whether the aboriginal 
horse of the first yeomanry of Kent that met 
Caesar upon his landing belonged to the breed 
believed to have been imported by the Celts or 
Germans, or whether they were descendants of 
the horses known to have been largely bred 
when Hannibal's warlike expeditions into Spain, 
Gaul and Italy were over, is not known. 

Of interest it is to be told that the men 
who invaded this country under the banner of 
the White Horse greatly valued the particular 
breed of horses they found here, and that in 
consequence their descendants in later centuries 
cut upon the chalk cliffs of the Berkshire downs 
near Ilsley and Wantage the rough figures of 
horses that remain there to this day. 

We have it on the authority of several of the 



70 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

most trustworthy of our early historians that by 
about the end of the third century B.C., at latest, 
the Gauls of northern Italy had become a race of 
horsemen ; that by about the middle of the second 
century B.C. the majority of the Transalpine 
Gauls had done the same ; and that by Caesar's 
time even the Belgic tribes of the Continent 
had practically abandoned the war chariot that 
the Romans had deemed so helpful. 

Apparently the horses employed by the 
Roman warriors were of a better stamp than 
those which belonged to the Gauls of Northern 
Italy. 

It is well known that Caesar's opinion of the 
value of chariots in war was, to say the least, 
rather inflated. His description of the action of 
war chariots durino^ an eng;aaement is of itself 
almost sufficient to prove this. 

*'At the first onset," he writes, "they [the 
warriors] drove the cars in all directions, hurled 
their javelins, and by the din and clatter of 
horses and wheels commonly threw the ranks 
of the enemy into disorder. 

" Then, making their way amongst the squad- 
rons of the enemy's cavalry, they leaped down 
from the chariots and fought on foot. 

" Little by little the charioteers withdrew out 
of the fight and placed their chariots in such a 
way that if they were hard pressed by the enemy 
they could readily retreat to their own side. 



VALUE OF CHARIOTS IN WAR 71 

'* Thus in battle they afforded the mobiUty of 
cavalry, and the steadiness of infantry. 

" Daily practice enabled them to pull up their 
horses when in full speed on a slope or steep 
declivity, to check or turn the<Ti in a narrow 
space, to run out on the pole and stand on the 
yoke, and to get nimbly back again into the 
chariot." 

All of which sounds simple and delightful. In 
practice, however, it did not often "work out." 
For too frequently the wheels of the chariots be- 
came clogged, sometimes they jammed in the 
wheels of other chariots — not necessarily the 
enemy's — and frequently the horses, driven to 
frenzy by pain and terror, stampeded on all sides. 

Therefore the "steadiness of infantry," of 
which Caesar talks so glibly, must in many 
instances have existed purely in his imagination, 
and there can be little doubt that the warriors, 
carried away nolens volens by their frenzied 
horses, often "retreated readily to their own 
side " long before the enemy pressed them to do 
so, a regrettable incident which Caesar passes 
over with perfunctory comment. And perhaps he 
is not to be found fault with for doing this, seeing 
that similar tactics have been indulged in by many 
of the most successful of our military strategists 
of modern times. 

Probably by Caesar's time the practice of 
placing a covering of some sort upon the backs 



72 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

of " saddle " horses had become quite common, at 
least amonofst the Romans. Among- German tribes 
the use of any sort of covering was still not merely 
laughed to scorn, but deemed to be actually 
effeminate, disgraceful and a mark of laziness. 

To do the Germans justice, they thoroughly 
acted up to their theory in this connection, for 
never, when riding bareback, did they fear to at- 
tack cavalry equipped with the horsecloth termed 
an ephippion, which means literally a horse cover. 

Referring again to war chariots, Diodorus tells 
us almost in so many words that the Celts of Gaul 
and of Northern Italy went to war in two-horse 
chariots down to quite a late date, after the 
manner of the Homeric Acheans. These chariots 
held each two warriors, or a warrior and a 
charioteer. One of the occupants first hurled 
a spear at the enemy and then quickly alighted 
to finish the attack on foot ; the other occupant 
managed the car. 

Though Horace himself was not a practical 
horseman, the views which he expressed upon 
the subject of horses and of horsemanship are 
for the most part admirable. In common with 
Xenophon he deemed good hoofs to be an 
essential. Listen to the following rather amus- 
ing though at the same time quite sensible 
observations uttered by Horace in one of his 
famous " Satires " : — 

"Swells," he writes, "when they buy horses, 



PRECURSOR OF THE HORSESHOE ^-^ 

have a way of covering them up when they look 
over them, for fear that a handsome shape set 
upon tender feet, as often happens, may take in 
the buyer as he hangs open-mouthed over fine 
haunches, small head, and stately neck. And 
they are right." 

At this time the ancients did not shoe their 
horses, though it is generally believed that the 
Romans often covered the hoofs of their mules 
with a sort of cap made of leather, which they 
then tied about the fetlock. 

These caps or coverings were named solece^ 
and in the majority of cases had a thin plate or 
sole made of iron. Nero is said to have used 
for his 2000 mules plates made of silver instead 
of iron, and Pliny declares in his famous 
"Natural History" that Nero's ridiculous wife, 
Poppsea, used plates of gold for the same 
purpose. 

It seems more than likely that caps of this 
pattern may have been worn by some at least 
of the horses of the immortal Ten Thousand, for 
it is recorded that during the great retreat an 
Armenian explained to a group of Greeks how 
best to protect their horses' feet when snow lay 
thick upon the ground, and the way he recom- 
mended was to wrap them up as described. 



74 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

I n the early history of I reland we find references. 
There is an Irish epic cycle said to be quite one of 
the oldest known — the cycle of Cuchulainn — in 
which the warriors all fight from chariots and do 
terrible things. In this respect the poems of the 
Ossianic cycle are different, from, which it has 
been inferred that the latter were written later. 

If this was so it helps to bear out the argument 
that chariots went steadily out of use as cavalry 
came more and more into vogue. Various dates 
have been assigned to the "Cuchulainn Saga," 
but from the records that exist it seems safe to 
say that the original poem must have been written 
in Pasran times — the events referred to in it are 
supposed to have occurred about the first century 
B.C. — though probably it was revised and added to 
in later years. 

Indeed it is beyond dispute that as early as 
the seventh century a.d. some of these poems 
were already deemed to be of great antiquity. 

Cuchulainn's horses are described at length in 
"The Wooing of Emer." They were "alike in 
size, beauty, fierceness and speed. Their manes 
were long and curly, and they had curling tails. 
The riorht-hand horse was a s^rev horse, broad 
in the haunches, fierce, swift and wild ; the other 
was jet-black, his head firmly knit, and he was 
broad-hoofed and slender ; long and curly were 
his mane and tail. Down his broad forehead 
hung heavy curls of hair." 



THE ICENI ON NEWMARKET HEATH ^s 

We are further told " that was the one chariot 
which the host of the horses of the chariots of 
Ulster could not follow on account of the swift- 
ness and speed of the chariot and of the chariot 
chief who sat in it." 

These peerless animals were guided by "two 
firm-plaited yellow reins," and presumably the 
black with "long and curly mane and tail " was 
of Spanish or Gaulish blood. 

Soon after the coming of Christ, or probably 
about the year 60 a.d., a tribe referred to as the 
Iceni is known to have lived on what is now 
called Newmarket Heath, and to have owned 
horses, apparently in great numbers. 

Tacitus speaks of the Iceni, who must have 
been a greater and more powerful people than 
the majority of modern historians lead us to infer. 
Again, it is interesting to note that nearly all the 
gold and silver coins of the Iceni bear upon one 
side the impression of a horse. Caesar refers 
to the Iceni as a race that dwelt in Cambridge- 
shire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, and 
Tacitus wrote practically to the same effect. 

Though horse racing is spoken of incidentally 
as having been indulged in early in the Anglo- 
Saxon era, quite the earliest bond-fide horse 
races that took place in England, of which we 
have authentic record, were those organised about 
the time of the Emperor Severus Alexander, 
or towards the beginning of the third century a.d. 



^6 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

The meeting was held at Netherby, in York- 
shire. 

These races were run apparently not long be- 
fore the assassination of the ill-starred emperor 
in 22 2 by the soldiers whom Maximus had cor- 
rupted. At other stations as well horse races took 
place during the Roman occupation, and Carleon, 
Silchester, Rushborough and Dorchester are men- 
tioned as being among the localities which had to 
do with the very primitive " Turf " of that period. 

Perhaps the undeniable superiority of the 
British thoroughbred over the horses of other 
nations to-day may in a measure be due to the 
time and attention the Romans of that era devoted 
to the importation of horses of Eastern blood. 
This seems more likely still to be the case 
when we remember that the majority of the best 
of the English mares were crossed with Arabian 
stallions in the years that followed, and that a 
succession of such stallions was imported through- 
out the early and the Middle Ages, and from that 
time onward rio^ht down throucjh the sixteenth, 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as we shall 
see presently. 

By the beginning of the era of the Saxon kings 
an Arab steed had come to be looked upon as a 
recognised royal gift. According to one authority, 
indeed, Boadicea, the intrepid queen who led the 
Iceni against the Roman invaders, was greatly 
attached to her horses. 



EARLY HORSE RACING IN BRITAIN ^^ 

Most likely she was attached to them, however, 
only because they helped her so materially in 
her raids upon her enemies. To pretend that 
"the sturdy queen," as one historian nicknames 
her, harboured anything in the least approaching 
a sympathetic or a sentimental affection for any 
particular horse would be the acme of all that is 
grotesque. 

Haydn has the misplaced gallantry to allude to 
Boadicea as " the heroic queen." That her good 
fortune in possessing horses with considerable 
staying power enabled her to win her great 
victory at Verulam is now common history. 
Therefore we read with the more interest that 
" this relentless queen destroyed London and 
other places, slaughtering many Romans, but 
at last she was overcome near London, by Suet- 
onius, and she ended by committing suicide." 

In the second century a.d. the Arabs probably 
had not begun to breed horses, for at that time 
we do not hear of Arab horses being held in the 
high esteem with which they later came to be 
regarded by the British nation. 

Yet even before this, or towards the middle of 
the first century a.d., the sport of chariot racing 
had become immensely popular, and the sums 
spent upon organising the races, training the 
horses that were to be entered for competition, 
and in purchasing prizes to be bestowed upon the 
victors, may justly be said to have been enormous 



78 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

if we bear in mind the purchasing value of the 
coinage of the period. 

That the Romans were given to sacrificing 
horses to their gods, Pliny the elder has made 
plain to us. He is said to have written an ex- 
haustive work upon steeds of a certain stamp, 
but unfortunately the book must have been 
destroyed in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 a.d., 
when Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried, and 
some 200,000 human beings killed, among them 
Pliny. 

As he points out in his " Natural History," 
however, the sacrifices of horses took place 
frequently, especially upon occasions of public 
solemnity, and he mentions that horses to be 
immolated were not allowed to be touched even 
by the Flamen. 

Whether or no the Romans habitually sacrificed 
white horses, after the manner of the Greeks, 
Illyrians and Persians, is not stated. They did, 
however, harness white horses to their chariots 
upon these and other state occasions, and thus we 
read that when Julius Caesar returned from Africa 
the quadriga in which he drove was, by order of 
the Senate, drawn by milk-white steeds. 

Tacitus tells us that on some occasions when 
a distino-uished chief died the dead man's horse 
was cremated on the funeral pyre beside its 
master's body, and we know that the superstitious 
beliefs of the Persians were upon a par with those 




CAI.IGfl.A ON HOR.SEBACk'. ABOUT 37 A.O. 
/•'ivm It /!,ci<>y in the British .\fiisfiim 



WHITE HORSES AS PROGNOSTICATORS 79 

of their Germanic kinsmen in so far as the im- 
molation of horses was concerned. 

In some instances alleged divination of the 
future was brought about by the aid of horses. 
Tacitus himself remarks that it was peculiar to 
this people (the Germans) " to seek from horses 
omens and monitions." 

" Kept at the public expense in these same 
woods and groves," he continues, "are white 
horses, pure from the taint of earthly labour. 
These are yoked to a sacred chariot and accom- 
panied by the priests and the king, or chief of 
the tribe, who note their neighings and snortings. 
No species of divination is more to be trusted, 
not only by the people and by the nobility, but 
also by the priests, who regard themselves as the 
ministers of the gods, and the horses as acquainted 
with their will." 

Amusing, but probably more or less fictitious, 
stories of Incitatus, the notorious horse of the 
Roman emperor, Caligula, have been handed 
down to us. That this beast had the absurd 
honour conferred upon it of being elected priest 
and consul we must believe, and there probably 
is truth in the statement that it ate regularly out 
of an ivory manger and drank from a golden 
pail. 

But we must accept with reservation the story 
that the horse alone had eighteen attendants in 
gorgeous apparel or livery to attend to it. Almost 



8o THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

equally fantastic are the tales told of the famous 
horse that belonged to the Roman emperor, 
Verus, in the second century a.d. Celer by 
name, it ate nothing but almonds and raisins, 
and its stable was a suite of apartments in the 
emperor's principal palace. In place of horse 
clothing it wore a garment of royal purple. 

I need hardly repeat that these and similar 
stories that have been handed down to us must 
be received with considerable scepticism. 

A description, probably true, of what were 
deemed in the first century a.d. to be the best 
points about a horse, is to be found in the 
" Eclogues." The lines, translated, run some- 
what as follows : — 

" My beast displays 
A deep-set back ; a head and neck 
That tossing proudly feel no check 
From over-bulk ; feet fashioned slight. 
Thin flanks, and brow of massive height ; 
While in its narrow horny sheath 
A well-turned hoof is bound beneath." 

Towards the middle of the fourth century a.d. 
the popularity of what must be described as circus 
ridine would seem to have increased rather 
suddenly, and we read that at about this time 
the Sicilian horses were nearly as much in de- 
mand for public performances and processions as 
the Cappadocian and the Spanish. Though such 
performances must have been primitive indeed by 



ROMAN SADDLES 8i 

comparison with even the simpler of the feats we 
see performed to-day, they were then deemed 
marvellous in the extreme, and people came from 
far and near to witness them. 

This probably was in a measure due to the 
general love of riding that prevailed amongst 
the wealthier classes at that period. Indeed the 
possession of a large stud of horses was in many 
parts of Greece, and especially in Athens, con- 
sidered the hall-mark of what we should term 
to-day a man of culture, in the same way that 
the possession of horses, hounds and hawks was 
supposed to mark the aristocrat in Mediaeval times. 

Thus a man often would be named after the 
class of horse he owned. Xanthippus meant 
"He of the dun horses"; Leucippus, "He of 
the white horses"; and Melanippus, "He of 
the black horses." 



By the close of the fourth century a.d. the 
Romans apparently had outgrown their pre- 
judice against the use of saddles, for at about 
that time the saddle is referred to with some 
frequency. Certain it is that in 380 a.d, the 
famous cavalrymen of Theodosius were mounted 
on horses provided with true saddles — that is to 
say saddles with a tree, also with a bow in front 
and behind. 



82 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Generally a cloth or numner was worn beneath 
saddles, but it is known that at one time Roman 
horses suffered from sore backs owing probably 
to the way the Roman soldiers sat their horses 
when saddles first came into vogue. Soon after 
this it was that the saddle came to be known as 
"the chair," presumably because of the Latin 
word sella, from which we have the French noun, 
selle, meaning saddle. 

Some famous horses are referred to in the re- 
cords of the sixth century, but little is said of 
their history. Thus we have the Persian steed 
of Chosroes, called Shibdiz, a name signifying 
"fleeter than the wind." Apparently he was a 
famous charger, for we read that he carried his 
master safely through several important engage- 
ments. Yet he was used for other purposes. 

The story of King Arthur is so closely bound 
up with fable and fiction that the truth is difficult 
to get at. He must have owned many good 
horses, however, of which Spumador — a word 
signifying "the foaming one" — and the mare 
Lamri were perhaps the most renowned. There 
are, nevertheless, historians who maintain that 
these horses never actually existed. 

Sir Tristram's charger, Passe Brewell, men- 
tioned in the " History of King Arthur," and 
elsewhere, is another animal around which "a 
web of imaginative description," as one writer 
terms it has been woven. Consequently we shall 



HORSES OF THE SWEDES 83 

be well advised to pass these fables by without 



comment. 



In the first half of the sixth century the practice 
of regularly shoeing horses apparently came into 
vogue, for shoes are referred to in the records of 
the ways and customs of the famous Emperor 
Justinian. It seems certain, however, that the 
shoes fashioned at about that period were clumsy 
in design, also needlessly heavy. Specimens of 
them have from time to time been discovered, 
and it is said one was found in the tomb of King 
Childeric, the date of whose death is placed so 
far back as 460 a.d. 

Though Tacitus, who wrote between 80 and 
116 A.D., does not allude to the horses of the 
Swedes, it is certain that about the sixth century 
A.D. the Swedes had become not only a race of 
fine horsemen, but owners of magnificent horses. 
Indeed in 550 a.d., or thereabouts, Jornandes 
went so far as to compare them favourably with 
the race of Thuringians. 

Probably it was in a measure owing to the 
intense devotion of the Swedish king, Adhils, 
to horses and to all that appertained to them that 
the Swedish nation became so renowned for their 
horses and their horsemanship. Then, though 
the Arabs had no horses at the beginning of the 



84 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Christian era, they probably were breeding them 
in great numbers by the beginning of the sixth 
century a.d,, for it was due mainly to a quarrel 
at about that time over a famous horse named 
Dahis that two formidable tribes entered into a 
deadly and long-drawn-out struggle. 

At about this period the Romans began to pay 
almost fastidious attention to the colour of their 
horses. The colour most preferred for a war 
horse was dark brown, chestnut, or bay, with a 
white blaze up the face, or a white patch or star 
upon the forehead. Light-coloured horses were 
avoided as much as possible, except when the 
animals were needed for processions, and so 
forth. 

A graphic description is given of a fierce com- 
bat between approximately looo of Justinian's 
cavalry, led by the renowned general, Belisarius, 
and an equal number of Goths. 

The latter, determined to enter Rome, had 
crossed the Tiber, when the column of Belisarius 
came upon them suddenly. 

The enorao-ement beo;an at once. 

We are told that " Belisarius himself fought 
like a common soldier." as the bravest of the 
chiefs of that period sometimes did. He was 
astride one of his favourite and best-trained 
charofers, a horse described as havino- "all his 
body dark-coloured, but his face pure white from 
the top of the head to the nose." 



THE HORSE OF BELISARIUS 85 

An animal so marked was termed by the 
Greeks phalios, and by the barbarians balas, 
words signifying "bald." While the battle was 
in progress a number of Belisarius' soldiers left 
his ranks and joined the Goths'. Thus it came 
about that suddenly Belisarius heard shouts from 
the enemy's lines, and the cries distinctly audible : 

" Belisarius rides the bald-faced horse ! Strike 
him ! Slay it !" 

And most likely the bald-faced horse and his 
gallant rider would have been slaughtered had 
Belisarius' bodyguard not hastened to rally round 
him and eventually succeeded in beating off his 
assailants, many of whom, earlier in the day, had 
fought beside him. 



CHAPTER V 

Mahomet encourages horse-breeding — Procopius ; a misstate- 
ment — Early allusion to horse races — Figures of horses cut on 
cliffs — Roland and his horse, Veillantiff — Orelia, Roderick's 
charger — Trebizond, Alfana ; Odin's mythical horse, Sleipnir — 
Horse fighting in Iceland — Some horses of mythology : Pegasus, 
Selene, Xanthos, Balios, Cyllaros, Arion, Reksh — Arab pedigrees 
traced through dams — Influence of the horse upon history — 
Courage of Julius Caesar's horses 

npHE coming of Mahomet, who announced 
•^ himself prophet about the year 6ii a.d., 
marks an epoch in the history of nations, and it 
serves also as a landmark, if one may express it 
so, in the horse's progress in its bearing upon the 
world's history. 

At intervals throughout the Koran, which 
Mahomet compiled probably about 6io, we come 
upon direct allusions to the horse in the part it 
played at that time in the growth of what must be 
termed civilisation. Probably Mahomet realised 
more fully than any of his contemporaries how 
indispensable to the human race the horse had by 
this time become, for in one passage in the Koran 
he puts a strange utterance into the mouth of the 
Almighty, whom he represents as apostrophising 
the horse, telling it that it shall be "for man a 
source of happiness and wealth," adding, "thy 

86 



MAHOMET ENCOURAGES BREEDING ^7 

back shall be a seat of honour, and thy belly of 
riches, and every grain of barley given to thee 
shall purchase indulgence for the sinner," while 
in another place he declares that "every grain of 
barley given to a horse is entered by God in the 
Register of Good Works." 

He describes in an interesting way the horse 
of the Archangel Gabriel, to which the name 
Haizum was given, also Dhuldul, the peerless 
steed of his son-in-law, AH, and his own milk- 
white mule, Fadda. All this is the more remark- 
able when we bear in mind that in the centuries 
that preceded Mahomet's birth the Arab race 
was practically a nonentity in so far as the con- 
tinual struggles for supremacy in Egypt and in 
Western Asia were concerned, when the great 
Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Persian, Median, 
Roman and Macedonian tribes fouo-ht with such 
dogged determination and proved each in turn 
more or less victorious. 

Yet it is more than likely — some of our 
leading historians pronounce positively upon this 
point — that if in the years just before Mahomet's 
birth the tribes had not become possessed of a 
staunch race of horses, and devoted much time to 
perfecting themselves in horsemanship in the true 
meaning of the term, Islam would have remained 
unchanged instead of almost revolutionising the 
world in the way it did. 

Small wonder, therefore, that Mahomet was en- 



88 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

thusiastic — unduly enthusiastic many even among 
his disciples maintained him to be — in striving to 
promote among his own people a fondness for 
horses. Undoubtedly it was owing to this that 
when at last Mahomet died some of the best- 
bred steeds in existence were to be found among 
the horses in the region of Nejd. 

In Mahomet's era it was that stirrups first 
came to be used regularly by both cavalry and 
what were termed "private horsemen" — the 
latter we should to-day call civilians. True 
stirrups most likely were invented and introduced 
by the Teutonic people of the Lower Rhine and 
the region adjoining, for we know there was no 
Latin or Greek term for a stirrup, and as the 
Teutonic tribes were large men of heavy build 
they naturally would be much more likely to 
feel the need of assistance when mountinof than 
would men of small stature, lig^ht and aofile, who 
must have been able to vault on to their horses 
without difficulty. 

The English term "stirrup" probably is a 
contraction of the early English "stige-rap," a 
word that comes from "stigan," to mount, and 
"rap," rope — in short, a mounting-rope. In the 
eighth century a.d. the Angles were using saddle 
horses in large numbers, according to the Vener- 
able Bede, some of whose writings, however, are 
said not to bear the impress of strict veracity. 
Yet it is probable that he speaks of what he 



PROCOPIUS; A MISSTATEMENT 89 

knew when he tells us that about the year 631 
A.D. "the English first began to saddle horses," 
while many of the horsemen who opposed the 
incursion of the hordes of Romans are known 
beyond dispute to have been mounted on saddled 
horses. 

Mention of the mare, Alborak, called also 
Borak, must be made — though only a mythical 
animal — as she was said to have carried 
Mahomet from earth into the seventh heaven. 
"She was milk-white," we are told, like Fadda, 
the mule, with "the wings of an eagle and a 
human face with a horse's cheeks," while " every 
pace she took was equal to the farthest range 
of human sig-ht." In Arabic the word means 
literally "the lightning." 

Procopius, who wrote in the sixth century 
A.D., is looked upon generally as a dependable 
authority, and probably upon most occasions 
he wrote the truth. Yet he would seem to have 
made one or two rather grave misstatements 
when speaking of the horse in its relation to the 
history of his time. 

In an interesting way he describes certain stir- 
ring scenes in the war between the Angli who 
had settled in Britain and the Varni — the Werini 
of the "Leges Barbarorum " — whose region lay 
chiefly east of the Rhine. The direct cause of 
this war was the positive refusal of the king of 
the Varni to marry an Anglian princess to 



90 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

whom he had been affianced for a considerable 
time. 

"These islanders," wrote Procopius, referring 
to the Angli, "are the most valiant of all the 
barbarians with whom we are acquainted, and 
they fight on foot. For not only do they not 
know how to ride, but it is their lot not even 
to know what a horse is like, since in this island 
they do not see a horse, even in a picture, for 
this animal seems never to have existed in 
Britain. But if at any time it should happen 
that some of them, either on an embassy, or for 
some other reason, should be living with Romans 
or Franks, or with anyone else that hath horses, 
and it should there be necessary for them to 
ride on horseback, they are unable to mount, but 
other men have to help them up and set them on 
their horses' backs ; and again, when they wish 
to ^dismount, they have to be lifted, and set down 
on the ground. Neither are the \^arni horsemen, 
but they too are all infantry. Such then are 
these barbarians." 

Clearly he misstated facts in this instance, for 
it is beyond dispute that horses were known in 
Britain at the time to which he refers. For the 
rest the description may be considered more or 
less accurate. 

It is interesting to note in this connection that 
whereas in the tombs of the Anglo-Saxons the 
shield and the weapons of the buried warrior are 



EARLY ALLUSION TO HORSE RACING 91 

usually discovered, bits and harness are found in 
these tombs in rare instances only. On the other 
hand in the Scandinavian barrows in Scotland 
the bones of men and horses mixed have been 
discovered frequently. 



Perhaps the first historical allusion to horse 
racing, as we understand it now, and to " running " 
horses, as race horses continued to be called for 
many centuries afterwards, is the one that occurs 
in the ninth century a.d., when Hugh, the 
founder of the royal house of Capet, in France, 
made a present of running horses to King Athel- 
stan in the hope that in return the king might 
allow him to wed his sister, Ethelswitha. 

Hengist and Horsa are said by some historians 
to have displayed interest in horse racing, but the 
statement is not based upon indisputable evidence, 
any more than the assertion that because Hengist 
and Horsa are alleged by one historian at least 
to have given the order that forms of horses 
should be cut upon the chalk hills of Berkshire 
therefore all the Saxon banners must have borne 
as a device a white horse. 

The white horse at Wantage other historians 
declare to have been cut in commemoration of 
Alfred's great victory over the Danes at the 
battle of y^scendun or Ashtreehill, during the 



92 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

reign of his brother, Ethelred I. Its length is 
374 feet, and even at a distance of nearly fifteen 
miles it is distinctly visible in clear weather. This 
recalls to mind the device of the House of 
Hanover — a white horse galloping ; and of the 
House of Savoy — a white horse rampant. 

Mention must here be made of the immortal 
Roland and his equally famous horse, Veillantiff, 
though owing to the pair have figured so largely 
in romance the actual truth about them can be 
traced only with difficulty. 

We may take it for granted, however, that 
Roland was the son of Milo, Duke of Aiglant ; 
that he was Count of Mans and Knight of Blaives ; 
and that his mother was Bertha, the sister of 
Charlemagne. Orlando is the name by which 
he is known in Italian romance ; Vegliantino the 
name of his horse ; and he figures prominently 
in Theroulde's '* Chanson de Roland," in the 
romance, " Chroniq de Turpin," and of course in 
Ariosto's epic of Mad Roland and Boiardo's 
'' Orlando in Love." He was said to be eight 
feet tall and to have "an open countenance which 
invited confidence and inspired respect," also to 
have been "brave, loyal and simple-minded." 

The story of his slaying at Fronsac, in single 
combat, the Saracen tyrant and giant. Angoulaffre, 
as described in " Croquemitaine," naturally is 
fiction. He desired, it was said, by way of reward 
to marry Aude, the fair daughter of Sir Gerard and 



ORELIA, RODERICK'S CHARGER 93 

Lady Guibourg, but Roland was slain at Ronces- 
valles in the Pyrenees during the return march 
from Saragossa, while in command of the rear- 
guard, being caught "together with the flower of 
the French chivalry " in an ambuscade and 
massacred to a man. Aude is said to have died 
of grief upon hearing the news. 

Roland's horse, Veillantiff, must have been an 
incomparable charger and more intelligent than 
even his master, for it is related that whenever 
Roland was hard pressed Veillantiff obtained 
knowledge of the fact in some mysterious way 
and at once carried Roland out of danger so far 
as he was able. 

Equally intelligent in this respect was the 
charger named Orelia, owned by Roderick, the 
last of the Goths. According to Southey this 
horse too was renowned for its shape and speed. 
Indeed Southey based the story of his famous 
epic upon the historical record of the defeat of 
Roderick in 711 a.d., at the battle of Guadalete, 
near Xeres de la Frontera. Roderick, the 
thirty - fourth and last of the old Visigothic 
kings, himself attributed his victories in a great 
measure to the courage of his horses, and 
apparently he was proud of all his horses 
for we read that he "bitterly bemoaned the 
death of any one of them." Another remark- 
able and famous steed was Trebizond, the 
grey charorer of Admiral Guarinos, one of 



94 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

the French knights taken prisoner at Ronces- 
valles. 

Alfana, the clever mare mentioned in Ariosto's 
" Orlando Furioso " as belonging to Gradasso, 
King of Sericana, whom Ariosto describes as " the 
bravest of the Pagan knights," has many legends 
attached to it. 

Thus upon occasions Gradasso who, though 
famous as a knight, was an unconscionable bully, 
would treat Alfana with grotesque kindness, at 
other times beating it unmercifully ; and when, 
with 100,000 vassals in his train, "all discrowned 
kings " (!) who never addressed him except upon 
their knees, he went to war against Charlemagne, 
the mare, Alfana, played a prominent part. 



Though in these pages but few allusions have 
been made to the horses of mythology, modern 
interest in mythological history being at a very 
low ebb, the mysterious eight-legged grey steed 
of Odin, chief god of Scandinavia, must not 
be passed unnoticed. His name was Sleipnir, 
and inasmuch as he could travel over earth and 
ocean he was deemed to be typical of the wind 
that blows over land and water from eight princi- 
pal and far-distant points. 

According to Beowulf — composed probably in 
the eighth century — the Scandinavians set great 



HORSE FIGHTING IN ICELAND 95 

value upon their steeds, especially upon their 
dun-coloured horses, their apple-dun horses and 
their white horses. Therefore it seems almost 
odd that the early Norse settlers in Iceland should 
have indulged as largely as they undoubtedly did 
in the brutal "sport " of horse fighting, a form of 
amusement that to this day is in vogue in parts 
of Siam. 

The saga of Burnt Njal, with its scene laid in 
the tenth century, refers repeatedly to incidents 
in which the horse plays a chief part. The de- 
scription of the mighty encounter between the 
horse of Starkad and the horse of Gunnar of 
Lithend is peculiarly disagreeable, but as it gives 
us probably a very accurate idea of the way in 
which these horse battles were arranged and 
carried out, it is worth quoting almost in full. 

Starkad, we are told, had "a good horse of 
chestnut hue, and it was thought that no horse 
was his match in fight." The horse that Gunnar 
of Lithend decided to pit against it was a brown. 
It is practically upon the result of this fight that 
the famous tragedy turns. 

"And now men ride to the horse fight," we 
read, " and a very great crowd was gathered 
together. Gunnar and his friends were there, 
and Starkad and his sons. . . . Gunnar was in a 
red kirtle, and had about his loins a broad belt, 
and a riding rod in his hand. Then the horses 
ran at one another, and bit each other long, so 



96 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

that there was no need for anyone to touch them, 
and that was the greatest sport ! Then Thorgeir 
and Kol made up their minds that they would 
push their horse forward just as the horses rushed 
together, and see if Gunnar would fall before 
him. 

" Now the horses ran at one another again, and 
both Thorgeir and Kol ran alongside their horse's 
flank. Gunnar pushed his horse against them, 
and what happened in a trice was this, that 
Thorreir and his brother fell flat down on their 
backs, and their horse atop of them ! " 

Soon after this the horse battle developed into 
a serious encounter between the partisans of the 
respective animals, with the result that Gunnar's 
horse had an eye gouged out by Thorgeir. In 
the library at Reykjavik a very interesting picture 
representing a horse battle of this kind is still to 
be seen. 



We have now seen how, from the very earliest 
time until the eve of the Norman Conquest, the 
horse played a prominent part in the world's 
history. More than any other animal it had 
helped, either directly or indirectly, to bring about 
great victories, to develop and strengthen the 
courage of nations, to mould the character of men, 
and to add in several ways to life's pleasure. 



SOME HORSES OF MYTHOLOGY 97 

That the horse should have been ahnost wor- 
shipped by the very tribes who offered up living 
horses as sacrifices to their gods has been pro- 
nounced paradoxical by some writers ; yet there 
was nothing inconsistent about this, for in all 
times when sacrifices have been common those 
offering sacrifice have given what they most 
cherished or esteemed. 

What is remarkable is the fact that, of all 
animals known to have existed in the different 
countries and in the different regions of those 
countries to which reference has been made, the 
horse stands alone as man's direct assistant, one 
might say ally ; and, in addition, the horse is the 
one animal with a history traceable through the 
early centuries, owing to the almost unbroken line 
of references made to it in the story of the human 
race and progress towards civilisation. 

How far advanced the world would have been 
at the time of the Conqueror's landing, how far 
advanced it would be to-day, had the horse not 
played so prominent a part in its development, 
none can say. There can be no doubt, however, 
but that the human race would have advanced far 
more slowly had the employment of horses been 
withheld. 

Of mythical horses that have "existed," the 
name is legion. To deal at length with these 
strange creatures would need a volume half as 
large as this is. I have mentioned that few save 

G 



98 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

scholars to-day take interest in mythology, so I 
shall refer only to some half-a-dozen of the many 
horses of fable and of mythology whose names are 
household words. 

Pegasus, the winged horse of Apollo and the 
Muses, is perhaps the best known by repute. 
The name of course is Greek, and means, more 
or less, " one born near the ocean," and according 
to the famous fable Perseus rode Pegasus when 
rescuing Andromeda. 

Frequently in history we find a ship alluded to 
as " Perseus' flying horse." Thus in the story of 
the destruction of Troy, " Perseus conquered the 
head of Medusa, and did make Pegase, the most 
swift ship, which he always calls Perseus' flying 
horse," while Shakespeare in Troihis and Cres- 
sida speaks of " The strong-ribbed bark through 
liquid mountains cut . . . like Perseus' horse." 

How Perseus beheaded Medusa, chief of the 
Gorgons, and how everyone who afterwards 
looked at the head with its hair turned into snakes 
by the jealous goddess Minerva was then and 
there transformed into stone is too well known 
to need repetition at length here. 

Selene, the moon goddess, usually represented 
in a chariot drawn by fiery white horses — to 
some extent this is inconsistent, seeing that from 
time almost immemorial white horses have notori- 
ously been the least fiery of any — must be men- 
tioned, for the famous cast or model of Selene's 



SOME HORSES OF MYTHOLOGY 99 

horse shown in the British Museum indicates 
clearly the stamp of animal that was most highly 
prized about that period. According to Greek 
mythology, Selene was in love with the setting 
sun, Endymion, and bore him fifty daughters in 
addition to those she bore the god Zeus. 

Achilles' remarkable steed, Xanthos, was, we 
are told, "human to all intents." When " severely 
spoken to " by its master because on the battle- 
field it had deserted Patroclos, the horse first 
"looked about him sadly," and then, according to 
the " Iliad," it told Achilles with a reproachful 
expression in its eyes that he too would soon be 
dead, for that this was "the inexorable decree of 
of destiny " — a prophecy that came true. 

Achilles owned also the wonderful horse, Balios, 
which first of all Neptune had given to Peleus. 
The sire of Balios, like the sire of Xanthos, was 
the West Wind, its dam the harpy. Swift Foot. 

According- to Virgril the famous horse of Greek 
mythology, Cyllaros, belonged to Pollux, and was 
named after Cylla, in Troas. Ovid, however 
affirms that it belonged to Castor, for in his 
"Metamorphose" he says, when speaking of 
Cyllaros, that " He, O Castor, was a courser 
worthy thee . . . coal-black his colour, but like 
jet it shone: His legs and flowing tail were white 
alone." Then, Adrastos was saved at the siege 
of Thebes by a horse famous for its speed and 
given to him by Hercules. Its name was Arion, 



loo THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

and Neptune was said to have caused it to rise 
out of the earth, using his trident as a magic 
wand. The name is Greek for " miartial," hence 
the signification, "war horse," given to it in this 
instance. We read that " its right feet were those 
of a human creature," "it spoke with a human 
voice," and "ran with incredible swiftness." 

Perhaps one of the most notorious horses of 
Persian mythology is Reksh, a steed that be- 
longed to Rustam, the Persian Hercules, son of 
Zal, and Prince of Sedjistan. Rustam became 
famous chiefly on account of his great battle with 
the white dragon, Asdeev. The description of 
Rustam's deadly encounter with his son, Sohrab 
— it ended in the latter's death — is described in 
Matthew Arnold's poem, "Sohrab and Rustam" 
in very fine language. 



But even these few references to horses of 
mythology may be pronounced dull reading in 
this prosaic age, so for the present I will leave 
the subject and come down to earth once more. 
It is interesting to learn that the Arab race, 
apparently from the time when it first began to 
breed horses, was wont to trace the pedigrees of 
its horses through the dams and not through the 
sires, in the same way that in ancient days this 
people traced its own lineage. The reason the 



PEDIGREES TRACED THROUGH DAMS loi 

Arabs did so remains to this day a moot point, 
though it would seem almost certain that in common 
with the Veneti they believed the selection of the 
dam to be of more vital importance than the selec- 
tion of the stallion in order to secure good stock. 

Indeed even now there are races who hold this 
view, and to confirm their opinion they quote 
Aristotle, who also maintained that pedigrees 
ought by rights to be traced through the female 
line. Nor are they at all peculiar, for some of 
the foremost amongr modern breeders of horses 
hold that in almost every case the qualities of the 
dam descend more directly than do those of the sire. 

We have now come to what may be termed 
the second period of the horse in history — the 
period that begins with William the Conqueror's 
reign and ends with the Stuart Period. From 
very early centuries down to the coming of Christ, 
and from the coming of Christ down to the 
Norman invasion, all the records bearing directly 
upon the horse in its relation to the world's pro- 
gress are necessarily open to criticism, for almost 
all historical records of that period have to be 
accepted with some reserve. 

It may be said, indeed, that no two historians 
prior to the Conquest can be found who agree in 
detail one with the other, while some there are 
whose statements are almostdiametricallyopposed. 
In compiling these pages, therefore, I have tried 
to use discretion. 



I02 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 



Apparently an impression is prevalent amongst 
historians that the horses of the centuries before 
the Conquest, and therefore presumably also the 
horses of the period that preceded the birth of 
Christ, lived longer than those of later times. 

What can have oriven rise to this idea it is hard 
to say, and that the belief most likely is fallacious 
we are led to infer from the statements of those 
early writers who state definitely the ages at which 
their favourite chargers died. 

Yet at least two of our modern historians assert 
that the horses of the early Greeks and Romans 
lived to the age of thirty-five or more, upon an 
average. 

That such misstatement should continue to be 
handed down is very regrettable ; while equally 
to be deprecated is the habit common more 
especially among the younger school of French 
historians of applying the principles of the 
higher criticism in cases where such criticism 
ipso facto cannot hold good, the result being that 
conclusions are arrived at which in many instances 
are wholly false. 

To take a single case in point — rather a well- 
known Continental antiquary mentions in his 
historical essays that during the period approxim- 
ately between the coming of Christ and the reign 



INFLUENCE UPON HISTORY 103 

of William the Conqueror horses practically the 
world over " went out of use more and more." 

By "the world over" he means, of course, as 
much of the world as was known in those days, 
but the statement is none the less incorrect, and 
it seems clear that he must have come to this 
false conclusion through inferring- that because 
in certain regions the designs upon the ancient 
monuments, and in some instances the figures 
upon the coinage, represent a horse, or horses 
and chariots, the monuments and coins of a later 
date show only an unmounted warrior. 

The true reason of this, however, probably is 
that the later monuments were erected, and the 
later coins struck, at a period when neither famous 
battles were being fought nor great contests of 
skill decided. Students of history well know, 
indeed, that the monarchs as well as the great 
chiefs and leaders in the early centuries before 
the Conquest, and to some extent in the centuries 
after it, almost invariably commemorated upon 
their monuments, coins and parchments such 
events as happened to be of importance at the 
moment, or, as we should say to-day, of passing 
interest only. 

Indeed, as I have endeavoured to show, one of 
the most noticeable features about the horse in 
its relation to history is the manner in which 
it gradually influenced the development of the 
various nations. The early Libyan horses were 



I04 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

famous for what must be described as their gentle- 
ness and their intelHgence, characteristics which 
apparently marked some of the Libyan races. 

The horses of Europe, on the other hand, were 
vicious in various ways, and less tractable, but 
also they were less timid than the Libyan horses. 

It is curious to read, then, that the European 
races that owned these horses had several char- 
acteristics in common. In addition it is well 
known that in the niel(ie of a battle the horses of 
the contending armies quite commonly bit savagely 
one at another, and some of the early writers 
whose utterances can be relied upon maintain 
that even in the thick of the fight such horses 
but rarely bit or savaged horses other than the 
enemy's, and the enemy themselves. 

Another point worth noting is that though 
often in the early ages horses were immolated, 
yet deliberate cruelty to a horse upon other 
occasions was almost universally condemned by 
law. No precautions, however, were taken for the 
prevention of cruelty to any other sort of animal. 

This is, in itself, significant, for it can hardly 
be supposed that unnecessary cruelty to horses was 
condemned from the standpoint of the humani- 
tarian. Probably it was the horse's usefulness 
to mankind that served to o^uard him ao"ainst 
ill-usage, and, as we shall see presently, it was 
this same usefulness that protected him from ill- 
treatment in centuries long after the Conquest. 



COURAGE OF CESAR'S HORSES 105 

Indeed there are parts of the world where to 
this day horses are well treated because to ill- 
use them is deemed unwise policy. Thus in no 
part of the Western States of America have I 
ever seen a horse flogged unmercifully, and upon 
several occasions when attention has been drawn 
to this the reply has been practically the same : 
** If we served them badly we should get less 
work out of them," an observation that some 
Englishmen, plenty of Frenchmen, and very 
many Italians, who have to do with horses, 
might with advantage bear in mind. 



The physical strength of horses in the very 
early centuries must have been prodigious. If 
the details we have of the way in which the early 
war chariots were constructed are accurate, then 
at least three of our twentieth-century horses 
would be needed to accomplish the work, one 
might almost say perform the feats, that a pair of 
horses could do twelve or thirteen centuries ago. 

Even as late in the world's history as the period 
of Julius Caesar the staying power of some of the 
war horses in Britain was amazing. Men who 
have been in action in our own times will tell 
you that a wounded horse gives in at once, 
that he seems to have no heart. Yet in Julius 
Caesar's time, and in earlier epochs, an arrow 



io6 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

or a javelin wound, if not too severe, apparently 
had the effect of setting a war horse upon his 
mettle rather than of causing him to give in. 

Can the horse's temperament, then, have 
changed within the last ten centuries? Is he a 
less courag-eous animal than he was ? Is he more 
highly strung, less intelligent, less strong physic- 
ally, and of a weaker constitution? Such prob- 
lems have to do with the history of the horse 
rather than with the horse in history, and, so far 
as I am aware, they have not as yet been solved. 



PART II 

FROM THE CONQUEST TO THE STUART 
PERIOD 

CHAPTER I 

The Conqueror's cavalry — Horse fairs and races at Smithfield — 
King John's foolish fad — The Persians and their horses — Relics of 
Irish art ; what they indicate — Simon de Montfort the first master 
of foxhounds — The king's right to commandeer horses — Sir 
Eustace de Hecche ; Battle of Falkirk — Marco Polo and white 
horses; curious superstitions — Edward III. and Richard II. 
encourage horse breeding — Battle of Crecy 

^ I ''HE beginning of William the Conqueror's 
'*■ reign marks a turning-point in the story of 
the horse's influence upon the British nation, also, 
incidentally, in the general development of the 
horse. 

Roger de Bellesne, Earl of Shrewsbury, who 
is said to have been an accomplished horseman 
— as fine horsemanship was understood in those 
days — obtained leave of the king to import 
from Spain a number of stallions of great 
value. 

These stallions, indeed, were said at the time 
to be " the best procurable in Spain," and we are 
told that when King William beheld them he 
107 



io8 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

displayed great delight, at the same time "ex- 
pressing his approval in a very forcible way." 

The king himself apparently was not a finished 
horseman ; yet he had a strong liking for horses, 
possibly in the same way that " he loved the 
great deer of the forests as though he had been 
their father " (!) Most likely he was too heavily 
built a man to make a graceful rider, though 
it is said that upon the arrival of Lord Shrews- 
bury's stallions he went on horseback to inspect 
them, and, as we know, towards the end of the 
sixteenth or the beginning of the seventeenth 
century the poet Drayton praised very highly 
the progeny of these same horses. 

Naturally this importation of valuable stallions 
greatly improved the breed of horses in Britain, 
and from the time of the Conquest onward the 
improvement was distinctly noticeable. 



Though some historians tell us that the Angrlo- 
Saxons rode on horseback, others maintain that 
they did not ride. There can be no doubt, how- 
ever, that they did not fight on horseback. The 
well-known scene on Bayeux tapestry that repre- 
sents the battle of Hastings shows us Harold fight- 
ing on foot when the arrow strikes him in the eye. 

A comparatively modern historian has tried to 
disprove the popular story of the Normans shoot- 



THE CONQUEROR'S CAVALRY 109 

inof their shafts hicrh into the air so that in their 
descent these shafts might pierce the heads of the 
enemy, but the old narrative is still believed by 
the great body of modern students. 

King William's warriors were, of course, almost 
all mounted — of that there cannot be a doubt. 
Had they not been the Saxons would most likely 
have won the day, even though the enemy was 
clad in mail. Also it should be remembered that 
the cavalry brought over by King William was 
practically of the stamp that some three centuries 
earlier had resisted very firmly the Moslem attack 
at Poictiers. The chargers were of the same 
stock, and therefore it may with truth be said that 
the famous Norman Conquest and the great and 
important events that followed it in the history 
of this country were directly due to the simple 
fact that the Normans possessed war horses and 
knew thoroughly how to manage them. 

Of precisely what stamp the Normans' chargers 
were that were imported at this time cannot be 
said for certain. Without doubt, however, they 
were tall and heavily built animals, for the armed 
men they had to carry were all of very great 
weight. 

For ten, or possibly twelve centuries a breed 
of great horses had been multiplying largely in 
the northern and western regions of Europe, so 
the inference is that the cavalry of the Normans 
must have been of that breed. 



no THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Also the saddles they are represented as wear- 
ing were extremely massive and presumably of 
great weight. Those shown on the Bayeux 
tapestry have a deep curve which must have 
made them difficult to fall out of, and we are told 
by Giraldus that saddles almost exactly similar, 
and provided with stirrups, were in use in Ireland 
a century or so later. The riders at that time 
wore high boots, prick spurs, and hauberk. 



A monk of Canterbury, William Stephanides, 
writing early in the reign of Henry II., alludes 
to various kinds of horses used in Great Britain, 
and among these there undoubtedly were some 
of the stamp that the Normans imported. 

"Without one of the London city gates," he 
tells us, "is a certain smooth field" — no doubt 
the site known to-day as Smithfield — "and every 
Friday there is a brave sight of gallant horses to 
be sold. Many come from the city to buy or 
look on — to wit, earls, barons, knights and 
citizens. There are to be found here managed 
or war horses [dextrarii), of elegant shape, full 
of fire and giving every proof of a generous and 
noble temper ; likewise cart horses, horses fitted 
for the dray, or the plough, or the chariot." 

From other sources we are able to gather that 
at this time there must have been many war 



KING JOHN'S FOOLISH FAD iii 

horses in England, and that they were for the 
most part animals of great size and strength. 
Consequently the cavalry of the period were 
extremely unwieldy. On the other hand we 
know that the rest of the horses distributed 
throughout the country were but little bigger 
than cobs, and we read that though attempts 
were made to mount men-at-arms on some of 
them all such attempts had soon to be abandoned, 
the horses being " oppressed by the weight of the 
armour and the heavy accoutrements." 

Probably this was the reason such strenuous 
efforts were presently made by the various reign- 
ing monarchs, and by the parliaments that were 
in power between the reign of Henry II. and the 
reign of Elizabeth, to breed bigger and heavier 
horses, " great horses " as they came to be called, 
and are often termed still. 

Some of the Latin records of the Mediaeval aofe 
contain interesting allusions to these great horses, 
dextrarii and magni equi they were called. The 
horses of this stamp do not appear to have been 
very intelligent animals, but their physical strength 
was colossal, and in selecting them particular 
attention was paid to their power of endurance, 
or, as we call it to-day, their staying power. 

Apparently Henry II. and Richard I. were 
partial to chestnut and dark brown stallions, but 
King John, and later Queen Elizabeth, preferred 
black. Indeed we are told that in the beginning 



112 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

of his reign King John vowed he would have his 
courtiers ride none but black horses, and that the 
sums he had to pay to enable him to gratify so 
foolish a fad — it may have been mere vanity 
— were quoted among the acts of extravagance 
that later incensed his barons and led ultimately 
to their making him sign Magna Charta. 

As the size and strength of the war horses 
grew greater in all countries, so did the weight 
and strength of the armour steadily increase. 
Towards the end of the twelfth century the 
Norman hauberk that for many years had proved 
effective, and that even the most far-seeing- of 
the warriors firmly believed could not be im- 
proved upon, began to make way for the heavy 
chain mail — the most picturesque armour ever 
adopted by any nation — which, when first intro- 
duced, was said to render the warrior almost 
invulnerable. 

But as time went on, and the strength of both 
men and horses further increased, and the weapons 
of war became more deadly still, the armour 
again underwent a change, so that about the 
beginning of the fourteenth century we find the 
"perfect armour," as it had come to be called, 
being in its turn discarded in favour of the 
hideous plate armour that less than a hundred 
years afterwards was adopted by practically every 
"civilised" nation in Europe. 

A monk of Canterbury, by name FitzStephen, 



HORSE RACING AT SMITHFIELD 113 

who in the reign of Henry II. was secretary to 
the famous Archbishop a Becket, refers in- 
cidentally to some rather primitive horse races 
which took place at Smithfield towards the end 
of the twelfth century, and in doing so he quaintly 
tells us that " the jockeys, inspired with thoughts 
of applause, and in the hope of victory, clap spurs 
to the willing horses, brandish their whips, and 
cheer them with their cries ! " 

Reference is made to these races in several 
other of the early documents, and though they 
are among the first horse races of which descrip- 
tions have been handed down to us, it seems 
clear that they attracted a great concourse of 
spectators and gave rise to much reckless wager- 
ing. That the animals entered were all practically 
untrained is made apparent. 

King Richard I. is said to have been a good 
judge of a horse and to have owned a number 
of swift-running steeds. Upon one or two occa- 
sions he endeavoured to establish horse racing 
as a national pastime, but the country was not 
yet ripe for it, and his attempts met with but scant 
encouragement. 

It is said that his courtiers strove to serve their 
royal master by having recourse to threats in 
those districts where the introduction of horse 
racing was opposed, but all to no purpose. 

King John, upon ascending the throne, devoted 
much time to hunting and similar sports, and 



114 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

valued good horses so greatly that in some in- 
stances he insisted that the fines he was so fond 
of extorting should be paid in horses instead of in 
money. 

Then, following in the footsteps of William the 
Conqueror, he imported a number of stallions, 
among them many of the Eastern breed, and on 
the pastures in Kent where the town of Eltham 
and the village of Mottinsfham now stand he 
established the famous stud from which so many 
of the horses owned in after years by Queen 
Elizabeth were directly descended. 

Worthy of mention here is the coincidence that 
the early days of some of the most celebrated 
thoroughbreds of recent times were spent in the 
very paddocks where King John's foals and im- 
ported horses were disporting themselves some 
seven centuries earlier. 

On the subject of the great horses of the Middle 
Ages it is interesting to read that while British 
rulers were striving to breed animals which would 
be both bigger and stronger than their pre- 
decessors, the Persians in their country were 
endeavouring to breed and rear horses on lines 
precisely similar, and with the same objects in 
view. 

How successful the attempts of the latter 
proved may be gathered from the fact that, in the 
centuries that followed, the Persian horses became 
renowned the world over for their immense 



RELICS OF IRISH ART 115 

strength, though the animals of this particular 
breed never became famous for their speed. 

Indeed the chief victories won by the Persians 
in their terrific encounters with the Turks in the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were due in a 
great measure to the superior size and strength 
of the Persian war horses, though, of course, the 
fact that the Turks had only their shields with 
which to protect themselves must have helped 
the Persians materially. 

Perhaps some of the most interesting and 
accurate representations of the horses of about 
this period are those to be found in parts of 
Ireland among the remains of Irish art. These 
remains, rather let us call them relics, are almost 
matchless, and they represent horses driven in 
chariots, and some mounted by riders. 

Thus three horsemen in addition to two 
chariots with horses harnessed are to be seen on 
the two panels of the plinth of the historic North 
Cross at Clonmacnoise in King's County. The 
wheels of these chariots have eight spokes, and 
the relic is believed by the foremost of our 
antiquaries to date back to the tenth century. 

A panel almost similar, dating back approxi- 
mately to the same period, is to be seen on an 
upright cross in a street in the town of Kells, 
in County Meath, and on this cross not only are 
horsemen shown, but in addition a hunting scene 
is clearly depicted. 



ii6 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Relics such as these help to demonstrate that 
the interest taken in horses by the people of 
Great Britain, just before and just after the Con- 
quest, was shared by the natives of Ireland, 
though not until several centuries had elapsed did 
the Irish show signs of becoming the thoroughly 
horse-loving nation that they are to-day. 

It is true that from a very early period they 
were fond of most kinds of outdoor pursuits that 
need daring in addition to the exercise of skill 
upon the part of those anxious to become pro- 
ficient at them. Also it is true that the horse has 
from first to last had much to do with the mould- 
ing of the Irish character. 

The horse's immediate bearing upon the his- 
tory and progress of Ireland begins, however, 
at a later date, and in the same manner the 
importation of great horses, and the establishment 
of what must have been the precursors of our 
modern stud farms, occur later in Ireland's his- 
tory than in England's. 



With the accession of Henry III. we find upon 
the throne a king keenly interested in all that had 
to do with horses, and devoted to the chase as 
well as to "stirring contests between competing 
horses." For authentic particulars of the contests 
in which these "competing horses" took part we 



NEWMARKET 117 

may search the ancient records almost in vain. 
Apparently the few race meetings organised were, 
to say the best we can of them, not of great im- 
portance, not excepting those in which the king 
and his nobles were directly interested. To afford 
opportunities for wagering was, so far as one can 
gather, their principal raison d'etre, and such rules 
of racing as did exist most likely were almost 
wholly disregarded. 

In this respect the king would seem not to 
have been much more particular than his sub- 
jects, though, as already said, information obtain- 
able upon the subject is of the scantiest, and is 
at best unreliable. 



In the history of Henry III.'s reign there 
occurs what we may take to be the first direct 
reference to "a village named Newmarket," in 
Cambridgeshire. As I have already pointed 
out, the tribe that dwelt on Newmarket Heath in 
very early times and was known as the Iceni 
apparently was interested in horses and to some 
extent bred horses, so it is not astonishing- to 
learn that in the thirteenth century the people 
then living in Newmarket and the neighbourhood 
still carried on the traditions of the Iceni, even to 
boasting openly that steeds bred upon the Heath 
could not be rivalled for speed "the world over." 



ii8 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

This, most likely, was an empty boast, for what 
could a small community, that presumably travelled 
but rarely, know at first hand of horses bred even 
in far distant parts of England? 

It is true that Simon de Montfort had a high 
opinion of the horses bred at Newmarket, for he 
tells us so in a letter written a few years before 
his death — he was killed at Evesham in 1265. 
Presumably he rode in the hunting field some 
of his horses that had been reared at New- 
market, for he was as keen about hunting as 
about soldiering. 

Historians have described him as "the great 
patriotic baron of his period," a description that is 
accurate if we are to judge from his acts. I believe 
I am right in saying that Simon de Montfort was the 
first master of foxhounds of whom mention is made 
in British history, but upon this point I am open 
to correction. Certainly he is the first of whose 
life we have authentic details. On his great seal 
attached to a deed dated 1259, and now in Paris 
among the royal archives, he is shown galloping 
beside his hounds, urging them on, and blowing 
his horn. He is said to have hunted largely in 
Leicestershire and Warwickshire, and as he lived 
in the thirteenth century the seal referred to forms 
most likely the first picture we have of a bond Jide 
run with foxhounds. 

In Blount's "Ancient Tenures," a volume that 
is extremely interesting and in some respects 



KING'S RIGHT TO COMMANDEER 119 

amusing, we are told that "In the reign of King 
Edward I. Walter Marescullus paid at the crucem 
lapideam six horseshoes with nails for a certain 
building which he held of the king in capite 
opposite the stone cross." 

This recalls to mind that in the reign of Henry 
III., and ev^en later, horseshoes and horseshoe 
nails were frequently taken in lieu of rent. 
Whether or no horseshoes were of exceptional 
value does not appear, but we are led to suppose 
that they must have been from the fact that in 
1 25 1 a farrier named Walter le Brun, who lived 
in the Strand, in London, was granted a plot of 
land in the parish of St Clements "to place there 
a forge, six horseshoes to be paid to the parish 
every year for the privilege." 

In after years the same plot was granted to 
the Mayor and citizens of London, who, it is said, 
still render six horseshoes to the Exchequer 
annually. 

According to the Statutes, 25, Edward I., c. 
21 ; and 36, Edward III. cc. 4, 5, the king could 
commandeer from his subjects as many horses as 
he might need for his own service. By the nobles 
and barons this was deemed a harsh measure, and 
frequently they rebelled against it. Some of the 
more spirited even refused to acknowledge its 
validity, with the result that a number were slain 
whilst attempting to retain their horses by force ; 
others were imprisoned ; and a few were put to 



I20 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

death as rebels. Indeed at this period the theft 
of a horse ranked second only to murder, and was 
punished as severely. 



A horse upon whose history several more or 
less romantic stories and poems have been based 
was the bay charger owned by King Edward I. 
that Sir Eustace de Hecche rode in the battle of 
Falkirk in 1298. It had a white stocking on its 
near hind leg, and according to one story its sire 
and grandsire had each a white stocking almost 
exactly similar. 

Some say that this charger — it had several 
names, apparently — was killed in the battle, for 
it is known beyond dispute that many of the 
chargers owned by knights, barons, valets and 
esquires were slain in that great conflict. 

Other reports, however, have it that Sir 
Eustace's mount came through the fight without 
a scratch. Sir Eustace was singularly attached 
to this particular horse and is said to have 
refused offers of large sums if he would sell 
it. He is also accredited with the remark that 
in courage and intelligence his bay charger 
eclipsed all other war horses he had ever 
owned. 

Much of interest to do with horses has 
been narrated by a distinguished writer who 



MARCO POLO AND WHITE HORSES 121 

flourished towards the end of the thirteenth 
and in the beo^innina of the fourteenth centuries 
— namely, Marco Polo. His remarks about the 
superstitions that were prevalent in his time are 
exceptionally instructive. 

Writing of the city of Chandu which was founded 
by Kublai and that gave the name to the river 
known now as Shangtu, Polo tells us to re- 
member that the Kaan owned an immense stud 
of white horses and mares, some 10,000 in all, 
"and not one with a speck or blemish visible." 
The milk of these mares was reserved for the 
Kaan and his family, "and they drank a great 
deal of it," the rest being given to some of the 
more distant relatives of the tribe. 

Upon occasions, however, a tribe named 
Horiad was allowed to drink of the milk of 
the mares, "the privilege being granted them," 
as Polo says, "by Chinghas Kaan on account of 
a certain victory they long ago helped him to win." 

Elsewhere Polo describes what may be termed 
the etiquette it was essential the traveller should 
observe who chanced to come upon the herd of 
white mares when they were travelling. 

" Be he the greatest lord in the land," he tells 
us, "he must not presume to pass until the mares 
have gone by, but must either tarry where he is, 
or go half-a-day's journey round, if need so be, 
so as not to come nigh them, for they are to be 
treated with the greatest respect." 



122 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Non-observance of this unwritten law brought 
grief in its train, the punishments inflicted being 
as varied as they were horrible. 

Furthermore, every year, on the 28th of 
August, "the lord set out from the park," upon 
which occasion none of the mares' milk was 
drunk. Instead it was collected in large-mouthed 
vessels kept expressly for the purpose and the 
occasion, and after that it was " sprinkled over a 
vast stretch of ground and in many different 
directions." 

This was done "on the injunction of the 
Idolaters and Idol-priests," who steadfastly main- 
tained that if the milk were thus sprinkled once a 
year "the Earth and the Air and the Gods shall 
have their share of it, and the Spirits likewise that 
inhabit the Air and the Earth. . . . And thus 
those beings will protect and bless the Kaan and 
his children, and his wives, and his folk, and his 
gear, and his cattle, and his horses, and his corn, 
and all that is his ; and after this done the 
Emperor is off and away." 

It is strange, also significant, that in almost 
every age allusion has been made to the respect 
habitually paid to white horses, especially pure 
white horses. From Homer we know that in 
his period, or towards the latter part of the eighth 
century B.C., the Thracians, the Illyrians and the 
people of Upper Europe spoke of white horses as 
though they almost worshipped them as gods. 



CURIOUS SUPERSTITIONS 123 

In those early times it was deemed criminal 
intentionally to wound a white horse, while to 
kill one even by accident was thought to be but 
little less blameworthy — save, of course, upon 
occasions when a white horse was to be sacrificed 
to please the gods or to appease their anger. 

Some centuries later Herodotus virtually re- 
peats what Homer has already told us, and gives 
us to understand in addition that by that time 
parts of Russia teemed with white horses, many 
of them of great value. 

Whether towards the end of the third and 
the bea"inninor of the second centuries B.C. the 
Russians treated even white horses with ordinary 
humanity would appear doubtful, though we 
know that Russians entertained superstitious and 
grotesque beliefs concerning horses that were 
either white or cream-coloured. 

Finally, some seven centuries later, Marco Polo 
comes with his remarkable narratives of the 
Tartars' herds of white horses and their strange 
beliefs concerning them. From other sources 
particulars may be obtained of the barbarous 
practices these Tartars had recourse to upon 
the occasions of their sacrificial ceremonies, par- 
ticulars of too revolting a nature to be given 
here. 



124 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

And now again we find allusion to the Turf. 
Apparently Edward II. disliked horse racing — 
such horse-racing as there was in his reign — and 
all that appertained to it, for upon the feast of St 
George in the year 1309 we find him interdicting 
"a tournament which was to be held on New- 
market Heath " ; an act that made him unpopular 
for the moment, though when some years later he 
deliberately put a stop to preparations in progress 
in connection with a similar tournament nobody 
seemed much to mind. 

That the people of England were none the less 
interested in horses at about this time we may 
infer from the knowledge we have that John 
Gyfford and William Twety had already issued 
their books upon horses and hunting, books to be 
seen to this day among the manuscripts in the 
Cottonian Collection, and that were, if one may 
express it so, widely read when first written. 

Strictly dissimilar were the views of Edward 
III. from those of his predecessors where the 
subject of horses and the various forms of sport 
in which the horse plays a prominent part were 
concerned. The steps taken by Edward II. 
deliberately to foster general dislike of certain 
branches of sport had not achieved the desired 
effect save amongst his small circle of sycophants, 
and one of Edward III.'s first acts upon succeed- 
ing him was to gather together a stud of the 
swiftest running horses procurable. 



EDWARD III. AND RICHARD II. 125 

This act it was that led the popular King of 
Navarre to select "two swift-running horses of 
great beauty " from his stable and send them as 
a present to Edward III. ; a compliment which 
pleased Edward greatly and that he quickly 
acknowledged. 

In this reign, also in the reign of the succeed- 
ing monarch, Richard II., Acts were passed 
which directly tended to encourage the breeding 
and rearing: of g-ood horses. Indeed the sums 
spent by Edward III. in connection with this 
must have been prodigious, for it is on record 
that upon one occasion he purchased from the 
Count of Hainault alone horses to the value of 
some 25,000 florins. 

Many of the horses that he bought, however, 
came direct from the Low Countries. Among 
the royal manors where he established large studs, 
especially studs of war horses, were Woodstock, 
Waltham, Odiham, and of course Windsor, a 
proportion of the expense of inaugurating and 
supporting these stud farms being defrayed by 
the sheriffs, according to royal command. 

Yet, in spite of all this, the supply of horses 
obtainable was not equal to the demand when 
the great war with France broke out. At 
the battle of Crecy, in 1346, only a proportion 
of the army of Edward III. and the Black 
Prince had horses, though we know that almost 
on the eve of the campaign considerable sums 



126 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

were spent upon the purchase of horses from 
the King of Gascony and from several large 
owners. 

This seems stranger still when we remember 
that the English army at Crecy was limited to 
some 36,000 men only, whereas King Philip's 
forces numbered over 130,000. 

Crecy, indeed, is one of the few historical battles 
in which the army that was the best mounted did 
not win the day ; but then all historians admit 
that the bowmen the English brought into the 
field upon that occasion were probably among 
the best disciplined and the most expert that had 
ever before been seen in action. 

On the other hand the horses of the opposing 
forces were not of the best. Many had hardly 
been trained at all to arms, and many more had 
been commandeered and hurried into the field 
almost at the eleventh hour. Some historians 
hold that Philip's army would have fared better 
had there been fewer men-at-arms in the fight- 
ing line, and it is possible that upon this single 
occasion if the army had had fewer horses it 
might have achieved success. 



CHAPTER II 

Richard II.'s horse, Roan Barbary — Thoroughbred EngHsh 
horses characteristic of the nation — Chaucer ; Cambuscan's wooden 
horse — Don Quixote's Aligero Clavileno — Horse race between 
the Prince of Wales and Lord Arundel — The Chevalier Bayard ; 
his horse, Carman — The Earl of Warwick's horse, Black Saladin 
— Joan of Arc — King Richard's horse, White Surrey — Charles 
VIII. of France's horse, Savoy — Dame Julyana Berners — Wolsey's 
horsemanship — Queen Elizabeth's stud 

"TX/HEN the Pale was troubled by an 
^^ eruption of the O'Byrnes and O'Moores 
in 1372" — Professor Ridgeway writes in his 
interesting and instructive work, "The Origin 
and Influence of the Thoroughbred Horse" — 
" who burned the priory of Athy, John Colton, 
the first Master of Gonville Hall (now Gonville 
and Caius College) and successively Dean of St 
Patrick's, Chancellor of Ireland, and Archbishop 
of Armagh, raised a force of twenty-six knights 
and a large body of men-at-arms and fell upon 
the Irish and defeated them with great slaughter." 
Upon referring to the records of this incident, 
to be found in several of our histories, it becomes 
evident that in the Pale at that time there must 
have been many horses of the stamp that to-day 
we speak of as the " great " horse. 

The insurrection alluded to so lightly as "an 
127 



128 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

eruption of the O'Byrnes and O'Moores" in 
reality was a serious affair, due, we are told, 
mainly to the almost total disregard of certain 
just demands made by O'Byrne, O'Moore and 
their followers. The Irish were for the most 
part badly mounted and poorly armed, many of 
their horses having been seized surreptitiously a 
short time prior to the outbreak, but they appear 
to have made a very gallant defence. 

John Colton's men-at-arms were, however, 
nearly all of great weight and heavily armed, so 
it is not surprising to read that they " made short 
work of the Irish rebels." Remarkable would it 
have been had they not done so, for we must 
bear in mind that their suppressors were of im- 
measurably superior strength. 



A horse foaled some years after this, which 
lived to become famous in British history, was 
King Richard II.'s barbary, often called Roan 
Barbary. The king, we are told in rather 
extravagant language, "loved Roan Barbary as 
an only son," and certainly it is true that he was 
exceptionally fond of this particular horse which 
poets, dramatists and writers of romance at 
various periods have all united in immortalising. 

Richard's grief and rage at hearing that Boling- 
broke had chosen Roan Barbary, of all horses, 



ROAN BARBARY 129 

upon which to ride to Westminster when he 
went there to be crowned, has many times been 
described, Shakespeare himself referring to the 
incident in King Richard II. in the well-known 
line, " When Bolingbroke rode on Roan Barbary, 
that horse that thou so often hast bestrid." 
Roan Barbary was a tall horse, well shaped and 
well schooled, but of uncertain temper. The king 
"could do with the steed whate'er he wished," 
but som.e of the grooms hardly dared approach 
to groom it "lest he sideways kick them." 

It is interesting to note here that the history of 
early times, w^ien it touches upon horses — which 
it does frequently — alludes upon many occasions 
to the partiality of particular horses for certain 
persons, and to their equally marked dislike for 
certain other persons. 

The inference naturally would be that these par- 
ticular horses were partial to the men who treated 
them humanely and disliked those who ill-treated 
them. If the early historians are to be believed, 
however, the horses' likes and dislikes for various 
persons were irrespective of the way they had 
been treated by such persons. 

Particularly does this appear to have been the 
case with Roan Barbary, for we are assured that 
all who had charge of him, or to do with him in 
any way, treated him invariably "with kindness 
and great cordiality " (!) the king having issued 
strict orders that they should. 



I30 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

In the British Museum there may be seen 
to-day a French metrical history of the deposition 
of Richard II. which informs us that the king 
owned " many a good horse of foreign breed." 



Mr J. P. Hore, the well-known authority, is of 
opinion that "the thoroughbred English horse 
was characteristic of the nation " in the reign of 
Richard II., and adds that "horses were then 
recognised and their praises sung." 

There is no doubt that betv/een 1377 and 1399 
the interest taken in horses in this country by 
persons of almost every class developed rapidly. 
The agricultural community in particular had 
by then begun to turn its attention seriously to 
the rearing of a better stamp of horse, and we 
know that Chaucer, who lived from 1328 to 1400, 
tells us that his famous monk had "full many a 
daintie horse in stable." 

Chaucer's interesting references to the various 
sorts of horse in use in the fourteenth century are 
numerous, and they serve to show that persons 
of different rank rode horses of different stamp. 
Thus on that fine April morning when the motley 
party of pilgrims set out from the Bell at South- 
wark upon their hasty journey we find the 
Knight mounted on a big and powerful horse — 
naturally a knight wearing armour needed such 



CHAUCER 131 

a beast to carry him — whereas the steed ridden 
by "the Clerk of Oxenford " was "as leane as 
any rake." 

The Wife of Bath, on the other hand, with her 
"great spurs," sat astride an "amblere"; the 
Ploughman rode "a mere"; the Shipman from 
Dartmouth rode "a rouncy as he couth"; while the 
Reeve " sat upon a fit good stot that was all pomely 
gray, and highte Scot." In the " Knight's Tale " 
we find the King of Ynde riding " a horse of baye." 

Apparently at this time greater attention 
was paid to the breeding and rearing of horses 
for war than for hunting or for "speed com- 
petitions " or any other purpose. Evidently 
King Richard had become more fully aware of 
the possibilities that existed for the use of 
powerful cavalry than any of his predecessors 
had done. Indeed he is said to have expressed 
upon one occasion a strong wish that his army 
might one day consist of cavalry only. 

He believed, too, that the heavier the chargers 
were the more formidable the regiment must be, 
and so wholly did this belief obsess him that 
upon occasions he betrayed a tendency to over- 
look the fact that the heaviest horses in the 
world, the most finely trained — in short, the best 
— must necessarily prove comparatively useless 
unless their riders, in addition to being brave and 
well armed, were thoroughly trained horsemen 
and well disciplined. 



132 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Referring again to Chaucer, we find in the 
" Squire's Tale," which he did not finish, the 
well-known story of Cambuscan's wooden horse, 
and we find this also in "The Arabian Nights" 
— that series of delightful narratives said to have 
been first made known by Antoine Gallard, the 
French Oriental scholar. The famous brazen 
horse of romance is the same, for it was Cam- 
buscan's, and Cambuscan was King of Sarra. in 
Tartary. Cambuscan possessed, so it was said, 
all the virtues that are popularly attributed to 
a king, yet withal none of a king's vices ; also 
he was said to be passionately devoted to his 
queen, Elfeta, who bore him two sons, Algarsife 
and Cambalo, and one daughter, Canace. 

We are further told that the King of Arabia 
and India presented Cambuscan with "a steed of 
brass, which between sunrise and sunset would 
carry its rider to any spot on earth." To make 
the horse do this all that was necessary was that 
its rider should whisper into its ear the name of 
the place to which he wished to travel, and that 
he should then mount the horse and turn a pin 
set in its ear. 

This done, the " animal " would go direct and 
at great speed to the place required, whereupon 
the rider turned another pin and descended. By 
turning a third pin it was possible to make the 
horse vanish and not reappear until its presence 
was again needed. 



PRINCE OF WALES & LORD ARUNDEL 133 

Aligero Clavileno was the full name of the 
winged horse with the wooden pin, the horse 
which Don Quixote rode upon the memorable 
occasion of his rescue of Dolorida and her com- 
panions. 

But enough of fairy tales and nonsense. Com- 
ing to the subject of horse races in early times 
we find it gravely stated that "the earliest de- 
scription of a horse race per se occurs in 1377," 
thoup;h we know that race meeting's of a sort 
were held long before that date. The where- 
abouts of the track where the races in 1377 took 
place has not been ascertained, but it is known 
that some of the horses which ran belonged to 
Lord Arundel, and some to the Prince of Wales, 
so soon to become Richard IL 

At this meeting it was that a match was 
arranged to take place between the Prince and 
Lord Arundel, each to ride his own animal. 
The match was run, and as the name of the 
winner has not, so far as I have been able to 
ascertain, been handed down to us, we may con- 
clude that the Prince's horse was beaten. Had 
the winner been ridden by a Prince of Wales some 
record of the victory would assuredly be extant. 

That Richard IL was a fine horseman, as 
finished horsemanship was understood in those 
days, there can be but little doubt. Yet it is re- 
markable that the natural gift known as "hands " 
— that is to say the power some men have of 



134 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

controlling a horse by delicate manipulation of 
the reins as opposed to brute force — apparently 
was not taken into consideration in the early 
centuries, or else was not understood and conse- 
quently not cultivated. To-day, of course, a man 
with bad "hands" is not deemed a horseman, 
properly speaking. 

Thus it comes that we find some of the early 
instructors in horsemanship deliberately advising 
the novice to catch hold of the reins tightly in 
order to keep his seat with greater ease ! Some 
of the early pictures, too, of men on horseback 
show the rider with his hands firmly clenched, 
even when the horse is walking, the reins held 
quite tight. 

It has been argued that men sheathed from 
head to foot in the heavy plate armour of the 
fifteenth century could not have ridden gracefully 
even had they wished to do so. Long before 
armour of that pattern had come into vogue, 
however, the riders apparently were indifferent 
horsemen inasmuch as they had for the most part 
bad "hands," if we are to judge from early 
pictures and descriptions. 



Many stories to do with horses have been 
woven round the celebrated French knight, 
Pierre du Terrail, Chevalier Bayard, and it is 



BAYARD'S HORSE, CARMAN 135 

known that whatever the quahties, fictitious or 
otherwise, may have been that his horses are al- 
leged to have possessed, Bayard was a fine rider, 
'"the boldest horseman of his period" as one 
historian describes him. 

Of medium height, slim, and a light weight, 
he was " of wholly irreproachable character " ; 
hence the description which still clings to his 
memory — Le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche. 

Truly remarkable are some of the feats of 
horsemanship attributed to him still. Thus it is 
said that he could ride any horse bareback and 
without a bridle, and that he rode in this way 
several savage animals which, when saddled and 
bridled, several famous horsemen were not able 
even to mount. But such stories must, of 
course, be believed only in part. 

Probably the best horse owned by this knight 
was the one named Carman, or Carmen, a gift of 
the Duke of Lorrain. Particulars about its make 
and shape apparently are not on record, but 
Carman carried Bayard through several severe 
engagements, though thrice severely wounded. 

It is said that Bayard was able to guide this 
horse by word of mouth alone, when he found it 
advisable to do so, and that upon some occasions 
the steed " would neigh in reply as though joyful 
at hearing its master's voice." 

Furthermore he could ride Carman over country 
no matter how rough, and the horse would never 



136 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

slip or stumble. It may in addition have been a 
clever fencer, for we read that the knight "rode 
with reckless daring at many obstacles " when 
mounted on his favourite steed. 

In at least one work of fiction the Chevalier 
Bayard has been rather amusingly confounded 
with the mythological steed of the four sons 
of Aymon that bore the name Bayard and that 
used so conveniently to grow larger when more 
than one of the four sons wanted to mount it at 
the same time. The name is said to signify the 
colour of bright bay, and the legend still obtains 
that a hoof mark of this mythical horse remains 
to this day in the forest of Soignes, while another 
of its hoof marks may be seen on a rock near 
Dinant. It was of this horse that Sir Walter 
Scott wrote in The Lady of the Lake the 
following^ lines : — 

" Stand, Bayard, stand ! The steed obeyed 
With arching neck, and bended head, 
And glaring eye and quivering ear, 
As if he loved his lord to hear." 

The Earl of Warwick's coal-black charger. Black 
Saladin, is eulogised in almost every history of 
the Wars of the Roses ; yet, when all is said, 
Black Saladin does not appear to have done any- 
thing sufficiently remarkable to have justified his 
earning the immortal reputation that he un- 
doubtedly has obtained. A big, powerful animal, 



JOAN OF ARC 137 

it must in justice be said of him that he carried 
his master creditably through several rather bloody 
encounters before man and horse were killed in 
the great conflict at Barnet. 

According to Hume's " History of England " — 
and probably no history extant is more accurate 
in detail — Warwick, when he received the fatal 
thrust, was fighting on foot. 

No trustworthy description is obtainable of 
the horse that Joan of Arc rode when she led 
the French army so successfully against the 
previously victorious troops of Henry VI. Only 
one indisputable statement relating to her leader- 
ship upon that famous occasion has been handed 
down to us, and that is that she rode astride. 

Pictures innumerable have been painted that 
depict her as she is supposed to have appeared 
in the heat of the fray, and others that show her 
to us as she ought to have looked when the en- 
gagement was over. By basing our impressions 
solely upon such pictures we might well conclude 
that the Pucelle went into action riding a white 
horse ; that in the thick of the fight she changed 
first on to a dun-coloured mare and then on to a 
bright bay mare ; and that when the engagement 
was over she once more chanored horses in order 
to ride back triumphant on a stallion as black as 
Black Saladin himself! 

According to Mr Douglas Murray, whose 
" History of Joan of Arc," published recently, 



138 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

is the most exhaustive and authoritative work 
we have upon the career of that heroic young 
woman, Joan would appear to have been quite 
a good horsewoman. "She rode horses so ill- 
tempered that no one else would dare to mount 
them." The Duke of Lorraine, also the Due 
d'Alen9on, after seeing her skill in riding a 
course, each gave her a horse ; and we read 
also of the gift of a war horse from the town 
of Orleans, and "many horses of value" sent 
from the Duke of Brittany. She had entered 
Orleans on a white horse, according to the 
Journal du Siege d' Orleans; but seems to have 
been in the habit of riding black chargers in war ; 
and mention is also made by Chatelain of a " lyart " 
or grey. 

A story, repeated in a letter from Guy de 
Laval, a grandson of Bertrand du Guesclin, re- 
lates that on one occasion when her horse, "a 
fine black war horse," was brought to the door, 
he was so restive that he would not stand still. 
"Take him to the Cross," she said; and there 
he stood, "as though he were tied," while she 
mounted. This was at Selles, in 1429. 

Two famous horses of the fifteenth century 
were King Richard's White Surrey, and Savoy, 
the favourite steed of King Charles VIII. of 
France, which was coal-black and took its name 
from the Duke of Savoy from whom King Charles 
had received it as a present. 



CHARLES VIII.'S HORSE, SAVOY 139 

The king rode White Surrey frequently when 
travelling in state. That he had many other 
white steeds seems obvious, and evidently he 
was extremely partial to horses of that colour, for 
we find him telling his nobles to use their influ- 
ence to induce the wealthier section of his subjects 
to breed and rear horses " white and grey." 

Savoy, though what we should to-day term a 
"good plucked" horse, is said to have been "of 
mean stature," also it had a blind eye. Charles 
VIII. nevertheless rode it in preference to any 
other horse in his stud, and that his stud was 
a very large one we are told by some of the 
earlier historians. 

Not a graceful horseman, he nevertheless had 
a firm seat, and it is interesting to read that 
he was extremely sensitive upon the subject of 
his horsemanship. So emphatically was this the 
case that upon one occasion he severely rebuked 
one of his courtiers who had remarked unwittingly 
in his presence that men existed who were physic- 
ally incapable of becoming good riders. Accord- 
ing to this king, indeed, one of the duties of every 
gentleman was to become proficient in the art of 
horsemanship, 

At about this time — that is to say towards 
the close of the fifteenth century — a book that has 
since been rightly or wrongly described as " the 
first work on sport ever issued in England " 
was published. When first it appeared it 



I40 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

attracted much attention. Printed for Dame 
Julyana Berners, who evidently had much practical 
knowledge of horses and the way to manage them, 
it mentions incidentally that every good horse 
ought to possess the following fifteen "pro- 
perties " : — 

" Of a man : — bolde, prowde, and hardy. 
Of a woman : — fayrbrested, fayr of heere, and easy 

to leape upon. 
Of a fox : — a fayr taylle, short eeres, with a good 

trotte. 
Of a haare : — a grete eye, a dry hede, and well 

runnynge. 
Of an asse : — a bygge chyn, a flatte legge, and a 

good hoof." 

From the above list we may conclude that in 
spite of the unwieldy appearance of most of the 
horses shown in the early drawings there must 
have been plenty of active animals in England 
long" before the second half of the sixteenth 
century. Most likely the large and clumsy horses 
belonged practically to the class that to-day we 
speak of as shire horses, and that the majority 
were employed for carrying men in armour, 
historians being unanimous in declaring that 
by the middle of the sixteenth century a man 
of medium height could not, when sheathed in 
armour, have weighed together with the armour 
worn by his horse less than some thirty stone, 
and that often he must have weighed more. 



WOLSEY'S HORSEMANSHIP 141 

This no doubt is the reason we read so fre- 
quently that in the sixteenth century considerable 
attention was paid to breeding and rearing great 
horses of Flanders, Friesland, France and Ger- 
many. 



The majority of our historians seem not to 
have realised fully that in Thomas Wolsey, after- 
wards Cardinal Wolsey, we had probably one of 
the finest horsemen of the period of Henry VII. 
and Henry VIII. The extreme brilliancy of 
Wolsey's public career possibly may have caused 
his lesser accomplishments to be eclipsed or over- 
looked, for that he possessed minor accomplish- 
ments is well known. 

It was in Henry VI I. 's reign, and probably 
about the year 1 500, that Wolsey first had occa- 
sion to display his horsemanship in rather a pro- 
minent manner. For we read that "the king, 
having received a communication from the reign- 
ing emperor, Maximilian, and being at a loss as 
to how he should reply to it in the shortest pos- 
sible time, turned abruptly to Thomas Wolsey to 
solicit his advice, Wolsey being at that time the 
king's chaplain ; whereupon Wolsey replied with- 
out hesitation that if the king would entrust him 
with a despatch he would deliver it to the emperor 
with but little delay." 



142 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

After pondering the proposal for some moments, 
Henry accepted the offer, and a little later handed 
to Wolsey a sealed packet, urging him to convey 
it with all speed and not be hindered by anybody. 
This took place, we are told, at Richmond, at 
about noon. Then and there the chaplain 
mounted the horse he had ready, and rode 
away. 

That he must have galloped almost all the 
way to Dover, changing horses several times, is 
certain, for he arrived there on the following 
morning before daylight. By noon on the day 
after he was at Calais, and at nightfall he per- 
sonally handed King Henry's sealed dispatch to 
to the Emperor Maximilian. Having received 
Maximilian's reply, Wolsey at once mounted a 
fresh horse that had been saddled for him and 
set out once more for Calais, which town he 
reached on the same night, so that by the follow- 
ing evening he was again at Richmond. 

The king, however, had already retired to 
rest, and Wolsey therefore was compelled to 
wait until the morning to deliver Maximilian's 
reply. It so happened that he was walking in 
the park when presently the king overtook him 
and at once began to upbraid him for his delay 
in starting for France. Wolsey remained silent 
and collected until the king had stopped speak- 
ing, then, without a word, he produced the des- 
patch that he had brought from Maximilian. 



WOLSEY'S HORSEMANSHIP 143 

King Henry, we are told, was thereupon "both 
amazed and delighted," and with great rapidity 
the story of the chaplain's remarkable ride to 
Paris and back again was noised abroad. 

Wolsey's reputation for horsemanship was 
firmly established from that time forward, and 
Henry, to mark his appreciation of the chaplain's 
exploit, bestowed upon him the deanery of 
Lincoln, and not long afterwards made him his 
almoner. Thus did the man obtain his first 
step to power who one day was to become the 
all-powerful Cardinal. 

I have not been able to find in any books or 
documents particulars concerning the horses rid- 
den by Wolsey in that famous journey. From 
what has been said, however, we may conclude 
that he rode horses of a stamp very different 
from the heavy, clumsy animals so plentiful in 
England at the time, for to have covered so 
many miles in so few hours the horses must have 
been of the swiftest, especially when it is remem- 
bered that the roads at that period were of the 
roughest possible description. 

In later years, owing partly to his increasing 
weight, Wolsey almost entirely gave up riding. 
Yet the interest that he had always taken in 
horse breeding remained, and though his many 
and arduous duties occupied much of his leisure 
he nevertheless found time to devote some 
of his attention to the rearing of riding and 



144 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

driving horses, and to the breeding of shire 
horses. 

Some of his Eastern sires, indeed — and we 
know that he had a large stud of them — are 
said to have been among the most valuable of 
the breeding stock that until then had ever been 
known, which may have been the reason that in 
after years Queen Elizabeth expended such vast 
sums upon increasing and still further improving 
the stud that had been Wolsey's. 

Elizabeth, however, as we shall presently see, 
upon the whole took greater interest in " running 
horses " than in the clumsy shire stallions, and 
though it is said that she never was actually 
present at a race meeting held at Newmarket, 
she is known to have owned a number of race 
horses the majority of which were stabled near 
Greenwich and trained chiefly upon Blackheath. 

In connection with Wolsey and his undoubted 
fondness for horses, it is interesting to learn that 
he cared but little for any form of gambling, 
though "the sight of a contest between running 
horses of high spirit delighted him." Until the 
period when he gave up riding he preferred at 
all times to be himself on horseback rather than 
watch others, a statement that has been mis- 
interpreted by one writer to mean that Wolsey 
preferred to ride in races rather than watch others 
ride races for him ! 

I believe I am right in saying that Wolsey 



WOLSEY'S HORSEMANSHIP 145 

never rode in any race of any kind, also that he 
took more active interest in the chase than in 
the turf — such turf, that is to say, as there was 
in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to take 
interest in. 

Upon that point Henry VII. held views some- 
what different from his chaplain's. The spectacle 
afforded by a horse race gave him scant gratifica- 
tion, and as a result he did little to develop and 
encouragre horse racing or to better the condition 
of the turf. 

Probably the only ride in the nature of a horse 
race that did stir him into displaying enthusiasm 
was Wolsey's race just described. This feat 
Wolsey but rarely spoke about, save when ques- 
tioned by friends. His technical knowledge of 
horses is said to have been profound, so much 
so that frequently men quite unknown to him 
would come many miles to obtain his opinion 
upon the condition of a sick horse, and usually 
he was willing to tender advice even to strangers. 

Indeed his willing-ness to be of service when a 
horse was in distress appears to have remained 
one of Wolsey's marked characteristics until 
nearly the end of his life. Historians have for 
the most part depicted him a stern, unbending 
man from the time he was made Cardinal ; yet he 
is known to have performed many small acts of 
kindness for which the world probably did not 
give him credit. 



146 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Whether the advice he tendered in cases of 
horse sickness was invarably sound is doubtful. 
The amazing ignorance of the anatomy of the 
human body that prevailed four hundred years 
ago leads naturally to the inference that ignor- 
ance of the anatomy of the horse must have been 
even greater. Probably the advice tendered by 
Wolsey was about upon a par in point of sound- 
ness with the advice that passed current towards 
the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the 
sixteenth centuries for "wisdom in medicine and 
chirurgery." 

Certainly we do not find allusion made to such 
common modern ailments in horses as spavins, 
navicular, ringbones and splints. Cracked heels 
may have been a common frequent source of 
lameness, for the shoes ordinarily used were 
clumsy, crude things knocked into shape in a 
rudimentary way, even those with which the 
most valuable of horses were commonly shod. 

The horse breakers and trainers of the early 
part of the sixteenth century seem to have been 
of one opinion as to the most effectual way of. 
so to speak, bringing a horse to his senses, and 
that was the simplest way of all — namely, by 
starving him ! 

That so barbarous, and, let it be added so 
wholly ineffectual a method should have been 
resorted to where horses were concerned is per- 
haps hardly to be wondered at when we bear in 



TRAINING BY STARVATION 147 

mind that only a little over a century ago the 
same method was employed with lunatics who 
showed signs of insubordination. 

For the idea used to be — and it has not yet 
quite died out — that a high temper must primarily 
be the outcome of higrh feeding^. We read that 
upon one occasion Henry VII. commanded that 
a horse he was to ride in a public procession be 
left unfed for twenty-four hours, and as no reason 
is assigned for the order we are justified in con- 
jecturing that he must have felt inwardly nervous, 
possibly that he feared the animal might, if fed 
as usual, prove to be what we call to-day " a 
handful " ! 

In other respects the horses of some four 
hundred years ago would seem to have been 
treated at any rate with ordinary humanity. 



CHAPTER III 

Inauguration and development of the Royal Stud — Exportation 
of horses declared by Henry VIII. to be illegal — Sale of horses 
to Scotsmen pronounced to be an act of felony — Riding matches 
become popular— Ferdinand of Arragon's gift of horses to Henry 
VIII. — Henry's love of hunting — King Henry stakes the bells of 
St Paul's on a throw of the dice — Some horses of romance — Horse- 
breeding industry crippled in Scotland 

'' I ""HE accession of Henry VHI. to the throne, 
in 1 509, marked the beginning of a great 
development in the breeding and rearing of valu- 
able horses, for that erratic monarch, whatever 
his failings may have been — and that he had a 
few failings we have reason to know — was at 
heart a sportsman in the true meaning of the 
now frequently misused term. 

We read that soon after ascending the throne 
"he took steps to arrange for the importation 
from Italy, Spain, Turkey and elsewhere, at 
regular intervals, of the best stallions and some 
of the best mares procurable." That done, he 
set to work to establish at Hampton Court the 
Royal Stud which later was to become so 
famous, and among the many horses he received 
as gifts — the majority from men anxious to keep 
in favour with a monarch so all-powerful — were 
the famous mares " perfect in shape and size " that 

148 



THE ROYAL STUD 149 

Francesco Gonzaga, the Marquis of Mantua, sent 
over in 15 14, a gift to which he soon afterwards 
added '' a Barb worth its weight in silver " which 
he declared he had taken great pains to secure. 

That Henry was deeply gratified is obvious 
from his remark that he " had never ridden better 
trained horses," and that "for years he had not 
received such an agreeable present." 



As time went on, and the Royal Stud steadily 
increased, the fame of Henry's horses spread not 
only throughout the kingdom, but also across the 
seas and into remote parts of the Continent, with 
the natural result that presently attempts were 
made to obtain surreptitiously foals known to have 
been bred in the famous paddocks. 

Henry, upon hearing this, became extremely 
angry, and this knowledge it probably was that 
in a measure prompted him to render illegal the 
exportation beyond the seas of mares or horses 
bred in England, and, in addition, to threaten with 
severe punishment anyone discovered making the 
attempt. 

There cannot, indeed, be any doubt that before 
the passing of this Act many horses had been 
sent abroad from various parts of the country, 
and that in consequence the British stock probably 
would soon have depreciated in value had Henry 



I50 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

not thus effectually put a stop to the practice at 
the outset. 

Yet we are told that in spite of this the king's 
act greatly annoyed several of the more powerful 
of his nobles, even that in some of the provinces 
it led almost to open rebellion, many men of 
private means having been in the habit of con- 
siderably augmenting their fortunes by secretly 
exporting horses upon what was in those days 
deemed to be rather a large scale. 

So strong, indeed, did the feeling throughout 
the country gradually grow, that in a short time 
it was decided to present the king with " a 
request" — presumably what we should to-day 
term a petition — in the hope that he might there- 
by be induced to revoke his rather arbitrary 
order. 

Whether the request ever was presented does 
not appear, but certainly Henry did not revoke 
the order. 

On the contrary, soon after prohibiting the 
exportation of horses beyond the seas he issued 
a supplementary edict which in effect rendered 
the exportation of horses to any foreign port, 
with the exception of Calais, a very grave offence ; 
while the "exportation" of horses into Scotland, 
and even the bare act of selling to any Scotsman 
any horse without having first obtained the king's 
permission to do so, became an act of felony alike 
to vendor and purchaser. 



SEVERE AND UNJUST LAWS 151 

Of course so unjust a law as the latter soon 
stirred up a strong feeling of resentment amongst 
Henry's subjects ; yet in spite of their bitter com- 
plaints they were compelled to comply with it. 

Thus it soon came about that men who had 
been living comparatively in opulence before the 
passing of these laws now found themselves re- 
duced to genteel poverty, whereupon, as if to add 
insult to injury, Henry passed yet another statute 
— 27, Henry VIH., c. 6. 

This statute enacted that all farmers in receipt 
of a certain stated income, also all owners of parks, 
as well as certain other persons, should rear and 
keep a specified number of brood mares, of a 
height not less than thirteen hands, the penalty 
for failing to comply with the order being fixed 
at forty shillings a month. 

The statute in addition commanded that upon 
every park of not less than four miles in extent — 
this is understood to have meant four miles in 
circumference — at least four mares should be 
kept, the same fine, forty shillings a month, to 
be extorted from all who failed to keep the law. 

That these laws, though severe and unjust, 
achieved their purpose we may conclude from 
the statement that soon after they had been passed 
there were to be found in England live times more 
horses ready to be put into the field in a case of 
emergency, and that these horses were all of great 
value. 



152 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Yet once again an attempt was made to induce 
Henry to revoke his laws forbidding the exporta- 
tion of horses, and again the attempt proved 
futile. The Scottish nation in particular felt 
deeply aggrieved at what they somewhat natur- 
ally deemed to be an insult paid to them by the 
king, but Henry, beyond threatening that if the 
complaints continued he would put a stop to them 
in rather a forcible manner, paid no heed whatever. 
And at just about this time it was that a number 
of Lowlanders were, so it is alleged, severely 
punished for purchasing horses of Englishmen in 
defiance of Henry's command. 

And still the king remained unsatisfied. He 
had openly declared that he would transform 
England into the foremost country in Europe 
for valuable and well-bred horses, and to facil- 
itate his doing so he presently passed another 
statute. 

In this statute he commanded that stoned horses 
under fifteen hands were not to be put to pasture 
in any wood or forest in certain counties (which 
he mentioned), the penalty for breaking the law 
to be forfeiture to the Crown, while in certain 
other counties the law was to apply to horses 
under fourteen hands. 

Yet another statute which he drew up — t,7^, 
Henry VIII., c. 5 — enacted that dukes and 
archbishops must maintain seven stoned trot- 
ting horses for the saddle ; marquises, earls and 



SEVERE AND UNJUST LAWS 153 

bishops, five ; and viscounts and barons with 
incomes of not less than 1000 marks, five. 

In the same way subjects with an income 
of 500 marks were each to maintain two of 
these trotting horses for the saddle, while men 
with an income of 100 marks, whose wives 
should " wear any gown of silk, or any French 
hood or bonnet of velvet, with any habiliment, 
paste or egg of gold, pearl or stone, or any 
chain of gold about their necks, or in their 
partlets, or in any apparel on their body," were 
by the law compelled to maintain one saddle 
horse, severe penalties being inflicted if they 
failed to do so. 

I have somewhere seen it stated that these Acts 
were repealed by Edward VI., but they were not. 
They were developed by William and Mary, and 
further developed by Elizabeth. Upon each occa- 
sion the renewal and development of these statutes 
caused bad blood and brought forth threats of 
retaliation, but the latter were not carried out. 

That the obvious injustice of laws so arbitrary 
should have created friction, is not to be wondered 
at ; yet the benefit that subsequently accrued to 
the country through passing them was enor- 
mous. 

Indeed it is more than likely that if Henry VIII., 
William and Mary, and Elizabeth had given way 
to the demands of a great body of their subjects 
between three and four hundred years ago, Eng- 



154 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

land would not have become famous above all 
other countries for its horses, as it is to-day. 

It was in the reign of Henry VIII. that riding- 
matches first began to acquire popularity, and to 
attract the attention of the " bloods " of about that 
period. Several descriptions of the way in which 
such matches were arranged and carried out are 
in existence, and perhaps a brief account of rather 
a famous match that was ridden by Richard de la 
Pole, the third Duke of Suffolk, against Seigneur 
Nicolle Dex, will here prove of interest. 

The Duke of Suffolk — " Blanche Rose" as his 
intimate friends called him — was the third son 
of John de la Pole, his mother being the Lady 
Elizabeth Plantagenet, Edward IV.'s and Richard 
III.'s sister. 

In the year 15 17, soon after the Duke had 
returned to Metz, the popularity of the turf began 
suddenly to increase, and thus it happened that 
the Duke presently became the possessor of a 
horse said to be " very swift and of extreme value," 
of which he boasted that it could beat all comers. 
It was while talking thus in Metz one day that 
Blanche Rose was taken at his word by the 
Seigneur Nicolle Dex, who declared without 
hesitation that he could and would himself pro- 
duce and ride a horse against the Duke's "from 
the Elm at Avegney to within St Clement's Gate," 
for the sum of eighty crowns "and win easily." 

At once Blanche Rose accepted the challenge, 



RIDING MATCHES BECOME POPULAR 155 

promising at the same time that he too would ride 
his own horse, and forthwith the stakes were 
handed to "an independent and neutral person" 
by each of the contestants. 

Arrangements havino- been made that the match 
should be run early in the morning of St Clement's 
Day, May 2nd, we read that, **a ce jour meisme 
que Ton courre I'awaine et le baicon au dit lieu 
St Clement," the two riders, accompanied by 
many of their friends, went out through St 
Thiebault's gate, which had been opened before 
the usual time to suit their convenience, "and 
so passed into the field for the race." 

There was much wagering on the result, and, 
as we should to-day express it, the Duke's mount 
was hot favourite. That Seigneur Nicolle was 
no novice in race riding is made manifest by the 
statement that he had taken the precaution to 
have his horse shod with extremely light shoes, 
also that " he came into the field like a groom, in 
his doublet and without shoes, and with no saddle 
but with a cloth tied round the horse's belly," 
whereas the Duke wore comparatively heavy 
clothing and rode in a heavy saddle. 

The Duke's horse, however, jumped away with 
the lead and retained it during the first half of 
the race, " but when they were near St Laidre 
his horse lagged behind, so that the Duke urged 
him on with spurs until the blood streamed down 
on both sides ; but it was in vain, Nicolle gained 



156 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

the race and the hundred and sixty crowns of the 
sum." 

Several writers tell us that Nicolle Dex had 
trained his horse on white wine, but the truth 
would seem to be that he himself trained on 
white wine. We are informed, in addition, that 
the horse was not given any hay. 

" Le dit Seigneur Nicolle n'avoit point donne 
de foin a son chevaulx, ne n'avoit beu aultre 
chose que du vin blanc." 

What the horses of four hundred years ago 
were chiefly fed on is uncertain. We know 
that usually they were given hay, but we find 
mention made repeatedly of "horse bread," 
Probably this horse bread resembled the modern 
oil cake upon which cattle is fed, for we read that 
it tended to make the horses' coats " soft and 
glossy," an attribute of oil cake of which horse 
dealers are well aware. 

It seems hardly necessary to mention in this 
connection that in Henry VII I. 's time, and in- 
deed down to a much later period, the art of 
training horses, as we understand it to-day, was 
practically in its infancy. Also we are able to 
infer that it was quite a common practice to give 
a horse a drink of water just before running him 
in a race, and that what we to-day allude to as 
the art of judging pace in connection with race 
riding probably had never been even thought of 

In Henry VHI.'s reign the habit of naming 



GROTESQUE NAMES 157 

horses after their breeder on their previous owner 
would appear to have come into vogue rather 
largely, and from that time onward, for some 
three centuries and a half, to have remained in 
vogue. After that it became customary to name 
race horses in rather a grotesque manner. 

I have by me a list of names of race horses 
almost all of which must have been animals well 
known in their time. It would be interesting- to 
hear what Messrs Weatherby would say if we 
asked them to-day to enter a mare to run under 
the name "Pretty Harlot" or, better still, 
" Sweetest when Naked " ! 

Among Henry VHI.'s famous barbs we find 
several mentioned by name, and we read in- 
cidentally that "during four or six days the 
king rode both Altobello and Governatore, but 
preferred Governatore." 

The Marquis of Mantua had been renowned 
for his skill in horsemanship, as well as for the 
famous stud of horses that he possessed, for 
some years before Henry VHI. came to the 
throne, and this stud is said to have reached 
the acme of its excellence about the year 
15 1 7, when Gonzaga, as the Marquis was gener- 
ally called, received many more requests for 
the service of his stallions than he was able to 
accede to. 

Many, if not actually the majority of the horses 
that proved most successful upon the turf during 



158 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

the sixteenth century are said to have been de- 
scendants of the stock bred so carefully and with 
so much discrimination by Gonzaga or by King 
Henry, from which we may conclude that the 
assertion made often that until the reign of 
Queen Anne there were no race horses in this 
country worth speaking of is erroneous. 

It is said, apparently with truth, that Gonzaga 
became extremely angry when, in the year 1515 
— only a few months after he had presented 
Henry with the valuable horses already referred 
to — Ferdinand of Arragon sent Henry "a gift 
of two most excellent horses," with the message 
that he, Ferdinand, believed they would be found 
to outclass even the fine horses already in the 
royal stables at Hampton Court. 

An apparently trivial incident such as this 
helps to show how thoroughly in earnest the 
men of fortune must have been who early in 
the sixteenth century devoted much time and at- 
tention to the breeding and rearing of valuable 
horses. It has been alleged that the Marquis 
of Mantua made his initial present of horses to 
King Henry solely in order to ingratiate himself 
in royal favour ; but the anxiety he clearly dis- 
played upon several occasions when gifts of 
horses were sent to Henry by men of rank and 
fortune leads to the belief either that Gonzaga 
must have been of a jealous nature, or else that 
he was inordinately proud of his own stud and 



FERDINAND'S GIFT 159 

extremely desirous that its high reputation should 
be maintained. 

The value of the two horses sent over by 
Ferdinand is said to have been approximately 
100,000 ducats. That would seem to be an im- 
possible sum to have paid in a period when 
money was worth many times more than it is 
to-day ; but when we read that both horses were 
richly caparisoned {regio ornatu) we may well 
suppose that the sum named included also the 
cost of trappings. 

Under the circumstances it is perhaps not 
surprising that Ferdinand of Arragon — Ferdinand 
the Catholic, as he was popularly called — should 
have been deemed insane by a great body of his 
subjects when it became known that he had sent 
so extravagant a gift to King Henry, his son-in- 
law. 

So prevalent, indeed, was this impression, that 
reasons were at once put forward to account for 
the alleged lack of intellect. Thus the incident 
of his having been poisoned two years before by 
his new queen, Germaine de Fois, was mentioned 
amongst possible causes, the serious illness that 
followed having proved almost fatal. 

Particulars of this attempt upon the life of 
Ferdinand the Catholic are to be found in one 
of the letters of Peter Martyr, though the writer 
of the letter does not seem to think that any 
insanity with which the king may have been 



i6o THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

afflicted towards the close of his Hfe can have 
been due to the cause assigned. Indeed in 
one of these letters he directly attributes the 
king's death to over-indulgence in hunting and 
matrimony, either of which, as he says, is liable 
to hasten dissolution in a man over sixty years 
of age ! 

Not content with the very large and valuable 
stud that he now possessed, Henry found it neces- 
sary in 1518 to send "a Bolognese gentleman" 
out to Italy to choose still more horses for him 
there, special instructions being given to him that 
the best animals he could find in Italy must be 
bought at once, irrespective of cost, and shipped 
across to England without undue delay — an order 
that the Bolognese gentleman "obeyed implicitly 
and to the king's great satisfaction as well as to 
his own." There may well be a hidden meaning 
in the last words ! 

We do not hear anything more that is of interest 
and that has to do with Henry's stud until the 
year 1526, when we read that "eighteen of the 
finest of his horses were sent by King Henry 
VIII. as a gift to Francis I." The reason he 
sent so many is not stated, nor are we told if 
these were chargers, race horses or great horses. 

After that the sending of gift horses apparently 
became an established custom amongst men of 
rank and of wealth, as well as amongst potentates, 
so much so that persons of quality vied one with 



HENRY'S LOVE OF HUNTING i6i 

another in sending gifts of valuable horses to 
their friends. 

The last present of the sort received by Henry 
VIII. consisted of twenty-five Spanish horses 
sent to him by the emperor, Charles V., in 

1539- 

Hunting is known to have been one of Henry's 
favourite amusements, and in a despatch dated 
loth September 15 19, written by Giustinian 
when V^enetian Ambassador to England, we are 
informed that when Henry hunted he invariably 
rode several horses, or, in the words of the des- 
patch, "never took that diversion without tiring 
eight or ten horses, which he caused to be 
stationed beforehand along the line of country 
he meant to take." 

From this and similar statements it has been 
inferred that the hounds Henry hunted with ran 
some artificial line, that otherwise the horses 
could not have been stationed "beforehand along 
the line of country he meant to take." The prob- 
ability, however, is that the king's horses were 
stationed at different points all over the country 
to be hunted, for it seems impossible that the 
king, heavy man though he undoubtedly was, 
could alone have ridden eight or ten horses to a 
standstill in a single day's hunting! 

Indeed in Henry III.'s reign the men who 
hunted regularly most likely rode more than 
one horse a day, just as most hunting men do 

L 



1 62 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

now. At that period the sport was, of course, 
very different from our modern foxhunting, and 
from the descriptions of it that have been handed 
down to us there is reason to beHeve that plenty 
of Henry's nobles hunted not because they were 
fond of the sport, but because they deemed it 
diplomatic to appear to be wholeheartedly as 
devoted to the chase as the king himself most 
certainly was. 

Yet the king apparently was not hoodwinked 
as easily as he may have appeared to be, or 
feigned to be, for upon more than one occasion 
he availed himself of opportunities to make some 
of his sycophants look remarkably ridiculous in 
public. 

In this connection an interesting little story is 
narrated of Sir Miles Partridge, a knight who 
figured rather largely in Henry VIII.'s reign. 
Apparently Sir Miles had more than once writhed 
in silence beneath the king's gibes, though all the 
while impatiently awaiting an opportunity to re- 
taliate in a dignified way. 

The opportunity came at last, when the king, 
in a merry mood, suggested to the knight that he 
should dice with him. This happened at about 
the time when the monasteries were being dis- 
solved, and Henry's coffers were in consequence 
unusually well replenished. At first the king 
won persistently ; then suddenly his luck deserted 
him, with the result that in the end he lost control 



SOME HORSES OF ROMANCE 163 

of his temper and with an oath shouted at Sir 
Miles that he would stake upon a single throw of 
the dice the great bells of St Paul's against a 
hundred sovereigns. 

The dice were thrown, and Sir Miles won, and 
the bells, described by a chronicler of the period 
as "the greatest peal in England," were taken 
away and melted down, to the knight's unfeigned 
delight. 

It is said that the king never forgave Sir Miles 
Partridge for this. Later Sir Miles was charged 
with some criminal offence and imprisoned, and in 
1 55 1 he was beheaded on Tower Hill. 

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the 
horse continued to figure largely in romance, and 
thus it comes that we find horses, fictitious and 
otherwise, playing important roles in the works of 
fiction of the principal authors of about that period. 

Ariosto's immortal narrative of " Orlando 
Furioso," written towards the close of the fifteenth 
or in the beginning of the sixteenth century, has 
given us "the little vigilant horse," Vegliantio, 
called Veillantif in the French romance, where 
Orlando appears as Ronald. 

Then we have " the horse of the golden bridle," 
Orlando's remarkable charger, Brigliadoro, whose 
speed equalled Bajardo's ; also Sacripant's steed, 
Frontaletto, "the horse with the little head," that 
was capable of doing many extraordinary things. 
Sacripant, who was King of Circassia, and a 



1 64 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Saracen, held secret consultations with Fronta- 
letto, and the horse could understand its master's 
every word. 

Rinaldo's horse, Bajardo, made famous in 
Ariosto's celebrated book, was a bright bay and 
very fast, and at one time it had belonged to 
Amadis of Gaul. When Malagigi, the wizard, 
found it in the cave guarded by "a dragon of 
great size," he at once, at considerable personal 
risk, attacked the dragon, which in the end he 
succeeded in slaying. 

According to the legend, Bajardo is still alive, 
but under no circumstances can man approach it, 
nor will any man ever do so. Though Bajardo 
figures in several stories, it occurs first in "Orlando 
Furioso." 

The original of Rinaldo was the son of the 
fourth Marquis d'Este, and Malagigi was Rin- 
aldo's cousin. The habit of drawing: fictitious 
characters to resemble closely living persons, or 
well-known persons of a previous period, was 
very prevalent among the writers of the sixteenth 
century, and therefore it often is difiicult to dis- 
associate the real from the fictitious character. 

This may be said too of the horses that we 
come upon in some of the better-known of the 
old-world romances. 

Indeed in several stories that could be named, 
the famous chargers of notable princes can be 
recognised under several assumed names. 



HENRY NOT A FIRST-RATE JUDGE 165 

With the close of Henry VIII.'s reign — that 
is, in 1547 — we come to an end of what was 
without doubt a period in which the horse played a 
more conspicuous part than it had done since the 
Norman Conquest. Upon ascending the throne 
Henry had found the condition of horse breeding 
in this country in rather a bad way. With others, 
as we have seen, he had set to work in earnest to 
improve, to the best of his ability, the breed of 
English horses, and though some of the statutes 
that he enacted — also some of the methods to 
which he had recourse in order to accomplish his 
object — undoubtedly were drastic, directly and 
indirectly they helped to bring about the improve- 
ment he desired, and for this the nation still owes 
him a debt of gratitude. 

Henry's fondness for the chase was equalled 
only by the keen interest he took in the rather 
primitive horse racing of his period, and trust- 
worthy choniclers tell us that one of his most 
cherished ambitions was to see established in 
England a stud of the fastest horses the world 
had ever known. 

When we bear in mind his fondness for horses 
of all kinds it seems strange that he should not 
have been a first-rate judge of a horse. Of know- 
ledge of a horse's anatomy he had practically none, 
for which reason his ignorance in this respect has 
been contrasted with the knowledge that Wolsey 
possessed. Once, indeed, when taxed with ignor- 



1 66 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

ance upon this point by one of his nobles he 
laughed heartily and admitted the impeachment. 

The order, already referred to, that horses 
should not be sent across the border, or sold to 
Scotsmen, almost completely crippled the horse- 
breeding industry north of the Tweed. True, 
some of the more powerful of the Scottish clans 
still owned valuable breeding stock, yet so strictly 
were Henry's laws enforced that the chiefs even 
of those clans were, with but few exceptions, 
unable to buy English stallions or to obtain their 
services at any time during Henry's reign. 

As a well-known Scottish historian has aptly 
put it, "Henry VHI. practically ruined Scotland so 
far as that country's prosperity had to do with the 
rearing of horses for the field, an unfair form of 
oppression that many Highlanders, and also Low- 
landers, have not yet quite forgotten." 

Perhaps it is worth mentioning here that so tar 
as we are able to judge from the records ot the 
early historians the men of Scotland have not. as 
a body, ever proved themselves to be such finished 
horsemen as the English, and more especially the 
Irish, 

This statement is not made in the least in a 
captious spirit. Why should it be ? Probably the 
reason the Scotch are, as a nation, less finished 
horsemen, is that they are men of large bone, 
considerable weight and great physical strength. 
Historical records serve to show that no race 



SCOTSMEN POOR HORSEMEN 167 

of men so built ever has been particularly famous 
for finished horsemanship. For a man to be a 
finished horseman need not necessarily possess 
great physical strength, and the man of heavy 
build almost invariably finds himself at a dis- 
advantage when on horseback by comparison 
with the man of spare frame, small bone and 
'* flat " thighs. Though this is something of a 
truism, several of our early historians apparently 
forgot it. 

A study of the world's history makes it clear 
that the tribes, races and nations especially re- 
nowned for their horsemanship have been com- 
posed for the most part of men of small stature. 



CHAPTER IV 

North America without horses when Columbus landed — Scarcity 
of horses at the Conquest of Mexico — Francisco Pizarro ; his 
cavaliers terrify the Indians — Emperor Charles V. sends horses to 
King Edward \'I. — David Hume, '' a man remarkable for piety, 
probity, candour and integrity" ; his practices in connection with 
horse racing— Queen Elizabeth fond of racing ; condition of the 
Turf during her reign — Stallions fed on eggs and oysters — Lord 
Herbert of Cherburj^'s antagonistic attitude towards the Turf — 
Some horses in Shakespeare's plays — Performing horse and its 
owner publicly burnt to death — Horses trained by cruelty 

nr^HE continent whose history and progress 
have been the least influenced by horses 
probably is Northern America, for it seems 
beyond doubt that when Columbus discovered 
it horses were unknown there. 

How then did they come to be there in such 
immense herds in later years ? 

This question has been asked many times, and 
the reply generally is that the horses subsequently 
introduced there by the Spaniards must have bred 
with great rapidity. 

Other solutions to the problem that have been 
put forward are hardly worth considering seriously. 
So enormous did these herds become, however, 
that down to half-a-century or so ago horses in 
their thousands ran wild over the vast prairies 
of the western states. At the present day such 
herds are practically extinct. 

i68 



SCARCITY AT CONQUEST OF MEXICO 169 



We read that when, in 15 19, the renowned 
Hernando Cortes set out from Cuba to conquer 
the empire of Montezuma, he took with him 
"sixteen strong and picked horses." Bernal 
Diaz, who was Cortes' comrade, apparently was 
greatly devoted to horses, and in his famous 
account of the Conquest of Mexico he describes 
in detail each of these sixteen animals, and 
mentions in rather a quaint way the principal 
characteristic that each possessed. 

Seeing that Cortes' force consisted of some 
660 trained men and about 200 Indians, the 
sixteen horses of course in no way approached 
the number he would have liked to take, and the 
reason he took so few is made clear by Diaz when 
he tells us that owing to the smallness of the ships 
of that period and the limited amount of accommo- 
dation that could be found on board them, even in 
proportion to their size, the difficulty of transport 
was very great. 

It was, indeed, owing chiefly to the difficulty 
of transporting horses to Cuba and Hispaniola 
from Spain that the prices demanded even for 
horses of inconsiderable value were so exorbitant. 
Even it seems possible that this scarcity of horses 
directly led to a campaign that was expected to 
last for only a few months being prolonged to 



170 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

approximately two years ; for though Cortes set 
sail with his little army in February, 1519, the 
subjugation of Mexico was not completed until 
nearly two years had elapsed. 

There seems to be no doubt but that the 
redoubtable Francisco Pizarro, who afterwards 
conquered so effectually the kingdom of the Incas, 
was in Hispaniola as early as the year 15 10, and 
he may have been there even before that date. 
When, in 1524, he began to move southward 
from Panama on his famous expedition, he 
travelled without horses, and the attempt to 
reach the realm of gold proved futile. 

His second expedition, hov/ever, was more 
successful, but then he had with him a number 
of horses that he had taken the precaution to 
buy before leaving Panama, and the expedition 
numbered, all told, about 160 men. The horses 
would appear to have been of the roughest, and 
some of them in poor condition, yet Pizarro 
positively refused to give leave for any of them 
to be destroyed, having apparently taken to heart 
the lesson he had received from the reverse which 
had overtaken him on his previous expedition 
when he was without horses. 

It is probable, however, that even Pizarro was 
not prepared for the extraordinary part that was 
presently to be played by those very animals that 
he had with him. 

For before he had advanced very far it became 



INDIANS TERRIFIED 171 

apparent to him that the native Indians had never 
in their Hves before set eyes upon a horse, and 
thus it happened that when presently they beheld 
Pizarro's advancing cavaliers, their attitude, which 
until then had been both threatening and defen- 
sive, became almost immediately changed to one 
of terror. 

Pizarro was at first amazed at this. Then as 
the Indians suddenly and of one accord turned and 
fled, uttering, as we are told, " strange and shrill 
cries," the truth flashed in upon him — his mounted 
men had been mistaken by them for some kind of 
weird creature, possibly something in the nature 
of a centaur ! 

As one writer says, "consternation seized the 
Indians when they saw a cavalier fall from his 
horse, for they were not prepared for the division 
into two parts of a creature that had seemed to 
them to be but a single being." 

In a letter addressed to Henry Bullinger by 
Bishop Hooper there is a statement to the effect 
that "two most beautiful Spanish horses" were 
received by Edward VI. from the emperor, 
Charles V., on 26th March, 1550, and that the 
king expressed his delight at the gift by giving 
way to "extravagant conduct." 

The incident is of interest because poor young 
Edward VI. was not supposed to be fond of 
horses. Yet Camden, the famous antiquary, who 
lived between 1551 and 1623 and was in a position 



172 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

that should have enabled him to speak with 
authority, gives it as his opinion that the lad took 
interest in horses of all kinds. 

Hargrove, in his " History and Description of 
the ancient City of York," maintains that the 
origin of horse racing can be traced back " even 
to the time of the Romans," a statement apt to 
prove misleading if we take it quite literally. 

That horse racing of a sort can be traced back 
to a very remote period has already been indi- 
cated, but, as we have also seen, almost the only 
kind of racing in which the Romans took keen 
interest was chariot racing, so there is reason to 
believe that some of the early allusions to chariot 
races may unwittingly have been confused with 
horse races by some of our later historians. 

In a letter that appeared recently in a news- 
paper published in Ireland, and that dealt at 
length with the supposed origin of horse racing, 
the writer remarked with unconscious humour 
that "undoubtedly the first races in England 
were held in Scotland." 

In this belief he was, of course, mistaken, 
though it is known that the Scottish people have 
from very early times been fond of horse racing, 
and that the grreat race meetincr held in Had- 
dington in 1552 attracted an enormous concourse 
of spectators from the Highlands and Lowlands 
alike. 

Later the Haddington race meeting came to 



DAVID HUME i73 

be held annually, the principal prize run for being 
" a silver bell of value." 

Rather an eccentric individual, named David 
Hume, was connected with the Turf in Scotland 
about the middle of the sixteenth century. He 
appears, indeed, to have been quite an interestmg 
personality. A resident of Wedderburn, where 
he died in or about the year 1 575— the early 
writers, while admitting that when he died he 
must have been fully fifty years of age, yet dis- 
agree as to the exact date of his death— he is 
especially worthy of mention because probably 
he was typical of a particular stamp of man that 
during the latter half of the sixteenth century 
was in a great measure responsible for the de- 
velopment of the race horse. 

Presumably David Hume owned property, for 
he is spoken of as " a gentleman of good status 
in Berwickshire," and in later years his son, 
known as David Hume of Godscroft, wrote a 
book which became famous in Scottish literature, 
the " History of the House of Douglas." 

The elder Hume is described as "a man 
remarkable for piety, probity, candour and in- 
tegrity." How ironical that description uncon- 
sciously was we shall see in a moment. The 
son we are told, "seldom missed an oppor- 
tunity of speaking in still more laudatory terms 
of his father," but Mr J. P. Hore's opinion is to 
the effect that if some such institution as the 



174 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

modern Jockey Club had been in existence when 
Hume the elder was in his heyday, that gentle- 
man would, in spite of his alleged probity, integrity, 
and so forth, have been warned off the Turf at 
short notice. 

For we read that " so great a master in the art 
of riding- was he that he would often be beat 
to-day and within eight days lay a double wager 
on the same horses and come off conqueror " 
(szc). No doubt this paragon of honour has 
many emulators on the Turf to-day, but the 
relatives and friends of the latter at least have 
not the effrontery to tell us that such men are 
"strictly just, utterly detesting all manner of 
fraud," the statement made again and again 
about the elder Hume by his kinsfolk. 

Elsewhere we learn that sometimes he ran two 
horses in one race and that upon occasions he 
was able to hoodwink the spectators assembled 
into believing that a horse had tried hard to win 
when in reality it had barely extended itself. 

Hume himself would talk openly to his friends 
about the races he meant to win, and apparently 
he seldom attempted to conceal the fact that some 
of his horses were meant to lose. 

Possibly this very "ingenuousness" may have 
led some of his friends, and a proportion of what 
we should to-day call the general public, to 
believe that he acted honourably and always in 
good faith. 



ELIZABETH FOND OF RACING 175 

In justice let it be said, however, that he bred 
good stock, also that he was a better judge of a 
horse than the bulk of his contemporaries — though 
that is not high praise. While himself engaged 
in roguery in connection with racing he was all 
the time striving to purify the Turf. He would, 
in all probability, have amassed a large fortune 
— or what was deemed in those days to be a large 
fortune — had he been less addicted to gambling 
for gambling's sake, for it is certain that from 
first to last he won much money by laying against 
his own horses as well as by backing some of 
them. The more amazing, therefore, is it that 
certain writers, even in comparatively recent 
times, should speak of him in all seriousness as 
a man of remarkable integrity. 

Queen Elizabeth loved the Turf and apparently 
was extremely fond of horses, while in her youth 
she must have been rather a fine horsewoman. 
She kept many riding horses for her own use and 
many more for the ladies of her court, and we 
know that she was extremely partial to chestnut 
animals. 

There is not, I think, any trustworthy evidence 
that she ever attended a race meeting held at 
Newmarket, but the statement made in at least 
one history of her period that she witnessed races 
at Doncaster probably is accurate, for we have 
proofs that a racecourse had been laid down there 
or marked out by the year 1600. Also we know 



176 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

that Elizabeth was fond of gambhng and that she 
squandered vast sums probably in connection 
with the turf. 

It must be remembered, however, that in the 
second half of the sixteenth century gambling 
was a besetting vice. "In the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth," Mr Clarkson writes, "racing was 
carried on to such an excess as to injure the 
fortunes of many individuals, private matches 
being then made between gentlemen, who were 
generally their own jockeys and tryers." 

The descriptions of some of these matches are 
almost as quaint as the account already given of 
the race between Blanche Rose and Nicolle Dex, 
for the majority of the riders were wont to have 
recourse to the worst sort of trickery when they 
believed it mia"ht enable them to win. 

Thus an instance is recorded of ground glass 
being mixed with a mare's food, the ill-starred 
animal being in consequence hardly able to cover 
the course, on which she died in great agony 
when the race was over. 

This statement is made without comment, and 
cases somewhat similar are cited which, if they 
occurred now, would fire our indignation and lead 
swiftly to retribution. 

From this we may to some extent infer that 
the morality of the Turf in Queen Elizabeth's 
reiofn had sunk to a low ebb. Indeed the 
maxim the majority of the " tryers," even of 



THE TURF IN ELIZABETH'S REIGN 177 

the "gentleman tryers," apparently was — "Win 
honestly if possible — but win." 

In Elizabeth's reign it was not customary to 
run important races for cups. Nearly all the 
" big " races were for " specie," or else for a silver 
bell — sometimes for both. Silver bells awarded 
as prizes over three hundred years ago are, it is 
said, still to be seen in some old country houses 
and in some museums, but though I have tried I 
have not been able to discover the whereabouts 
of any of them. 

In 1603 the Earl of Essex offered a snaffle 
made of gold as a prize to be run for at a race 
meeting held near Salisbury, and at about the 
same time it was proposed that " race gatherings" 
should take place near Salisbury at fixed intervals. 

The latter suggestion, though strongly resented 
by "a number of Salisbury gentlemen" who 
presumably were under the impression that to 
establish a race course near their town must 
necessarily prove demoralising to the townsmen, 
was eventually adopted, the queen having, so it 
was said, brought her influence to bear in favour 
of the proposal. 

We may approximately estimate the value of 
horses of a particular stamp at about this time 
from an inventory that was drawn up in 1572 of 
the effects of the second Earl of Cumberland of 
Skipton Castle. 

Therein we find a stoned horse called Young 

M 



178 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Mark Antony valued at £16; another horse, 
Grey Clyfford, at £11: Whyte Dacre, at ^10; 
Sorrell Tempest, £/\. ; White Tempest and Baye 
Tempest, each at £^ ; Baye Myddleton, £1, and 
so on. Some mares and their followers are also 
mentioned, and lastly ten cart horses. 

Many fictitious stories have been woven around 
Suleiman, the favourite charger of the Earl of 
Essex, but they are not of sufficient interest to 
place on record. In Elizabeth's reign a number 
of barbs, also many Spanish horses descended 
from barbs, were obtained from captured foreign 
vessels, and these the queen looked upon for the 
most part as her personal perquisites. 

Consequently about the middle of her reign an 
order was issued that all captured horses must 
without exception be sent direct to the queen, 
the infliction of a severe penalty being threatened 
if the order should be disreo-arded. A number 
of these animals were subsequently sent as gifts 
to the more faithful of her nobles, and all the 
recipients sent in return "expressions of ex- 
tremest gratitude." 

There is a diversity of opinion as to what 
constituted "the staple article of food" of horses 
in the sixteenth century, though of course hay 
was used largely. Bishop Hall throws some 
light upon the subject when he mentions that 
thoroughbred stallions when largely in demand 
were given eggs and oysters. 



LORD CHERBURY'S ANTAGONISM 179 

Reference to eggs and oysters in this con- 
nection is made elsewhere, so we may conclude 
that the custom of thus feeding stallions was 
not an uncommon one, at any rate in the time 
of Elizabeth. 

Horse bread has already been mentioned, but 
I have not come upon any direct allusion to oats 
being used to feed horses upon at this period. 

Several of the writers in Elizabeth's reign 
openly bem.oaned the development of horse 
racing, urging that trouble and disaster followed 
in its train, but their moans were for the most 
part stifled in the clamour of general approbation. 

Among those who spoke strongly in condemna- 
tion of horse racing was the rather eccentric 
Lord Herbert of Cherbury. Late in life he 
wrote — to the amusement of his friends and 
relatives — a complete history of his own career, 
in which volume he again reverts to his pet 
aversion by declaring that among the exercises 
of which he disapproved were "the riding of 
running horses, there being much cheating in that 
kind." 

Hunting also he clearly objected to, for he goes 
on to tell his readers that he does not like hunt- 
ing horses, "that exercise taking up more time 
than can be spared for a man studious to get 
knowledge." 

From other of his remarks it becomes obvious 
that some three centuries ago the men who 



i8o THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

devoted the better part of their lives to the sport 
of hunting became to such a degree engrossed 
in it that in time they could hardly be brought to 
talk, or indeed to think, of anything else whatever. 

That the same can be said with truth of a 
proportion of our modern hunting men is well 
known, and the question is asked to-day, as it 
was asked three hundred or more years ago — 
How comes it that over-indulgence in the 
chase has this odd effect upon us, whereas over- 
indulgence in other forms of sport but seldom 
makes its votaries shallow-minded to the same 
degree ? 

Indeed Lord Herbert of Cherbury, eccentric as 
he admittedly was, made many sensible observa- 
tions upon this and kindred topics ; and there can 
be no doubt that in decrying the then increasing 
tendency of men and women of what were looked 
upon as the educated classes to squander their 
fortunes, he voiced the views held by a vast 
proportion of the thinking population of this 
country. 

A contemporary of Lord Herbert's wrote 
practically to the same effect. His name was 
Burton, and he reached his heyday about the 
time that Shakespeare's era was drawing to a 
close. The diatribe he launched against the 
increasing spread of gambling upon the Turf has 
probably never been surpassed in vigour. 

In one of his mildest passages he pronounces 



HORSES IN SHAKESPEARE'S PLAYS i8i 

horse races to be "the disport of great men, and 
good in themselves, though many gentlemen by 
such means gallop quite out of their fortunes." 

Shakespeare himself, though rather fond of 
horses, was hardly less opposed to the practice 
of heavy betting. His description of a thorough- 
bred's points is good : 

" Round-hoof d, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long, 
Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostrils wde, 
High crest, short ears, straight legs, and passing strong, 
Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide." 

It would take long, also it is unnecessary, to 
describe at length all the horses of which Shake- 
speare speaks in his plays. According to a 
recent writer, Oliver's steed, Ferrant d'Espagne, 
or "Spanish traveller," has been "bastardised." 
What the writer means is, I think, that the horse 
has been introduced into works of fiction without 
acknowledgment. 

Such certainly is the case, and so greatly has 
the animal been distorted in some instances that 
only with difficulty is it recognisable. 

In Shakespeare's time — that is to say during the 
latter half of the sixteenth and in the beginning 
of the seventeenth centuries — the barbary horse 
clearly was highly esteemed, for it is referred to 
frequently in books and memoirs which bear upon 
that period. 

Shakespeare speaks several times of roan horses 



182 



THE HORSE IN HISTORY 



too, as for instance in / Henry IV., where we 
come upon the sentence, "Give the roan horse 
a drench." To bay horses he makes allusion 
in King Lear, in Timon, and elsewhere, and 
in Timon he refers also to a team of white 
horses. These bare allusions make dry reading, 
but they are instructive and of interest in 
connection with the story of the part the horse 
played in British history. 

More especially is this so when we again bear 
in mind what has already been stated at length 
in the introductory note to this book, and that is 
the enormous extent to which automobilism has 
increased in this country, and for that matter the 
world over, since the introduction of the petrol 
motor, which makes it obvious that the horse's 
reign must be fast drawing to a close. 



That we have, as a nation, already to a great 
extent lost much of the interest we took only a 
few years ago in horses, and in all that appertains 
to them, is, I think, beyond dispute. The number 
of men who keep what must be termed " pleasure " 
horses decreases year by year, almost month by 
month, and indeed it would be possible to name 
at off-hand between fifty and sixty well-known 
men and women fond of sport who. within the last 
six months or so, have sold their carriages and 



HORSES IN SHAKESPEARE'S PLAYS 183 

all their harness horses, and whose stables now 
contain only hunters, while in other cases even 
the hunters have been got rid of in order to make 
way for automobiles. 

And yet, bemoan the change though we may, 
the gradual transition is not uninteresting to 
study. History in the past has for centuries 
been both directly and indirectly affected by the 
horses and horsemanship of the various races the 
world over. History in the future is going to be 
similarly affected by motor power applied in a 
variety of ways. 

And yet, who knows ? Perhaps even half-a- 
century hence, when the horse will to all intents 
be extinct in England, save where he is kept for 
racing and in some instances for hunting purposes, 
interest may still be taken in Shakespeare's plays 
and therefore in the stories of such whimsical 
characters as the self-satisfied, conceited and 
generally grotesque Sir Andrew Aguecheek and 
his celebrated grey steed, Capilet, that we find 
portrayed so admirably in Twelfth Night ; in 
Lord Lafeu of Alls Well that Ends Well 
and his curious bay horse, Curtal, a name that 
means literally "the cropped one"; and in Cut, 
the carrier's horse of King Henry IV., — to 
name but a few of Shakespeare's creations that 
surely must live on for ever. 

With regard to barb horses, of which so 
much has been said and written, the probability 



i84 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

would seem to be that "barbed" is in reality 
a corrupt form of the word " barded " that 
came originally from the French, bardd — that is 
to say, caparisoned — and therefore it may signify 
indirectly a horse in armour. Hence the mean- 
ing probably intended by Shakespeare to be 
conveyed in the following lines in King Richard 
III. :— 

" And now — instead of mounting barbed steeds, 
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries, — 
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber, 
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute." 

Shakespeare and Bishop Hall, in addition to 
one or two other writers, speak of the horse, 
Marocco, which lived in Elizabeth's reisfn, and 
belonged to a man named Banks, or Bankes, a 
brother of the first keeper of the New Warren. 

Foaled, so far as one can gather, at New- 
market, Marocco appears to have been one of the 
cleverest of the few horses that at that period 
had been trained to perform at fairs, and in shows 
and circuses. 

Some of the feats performed by it are described 
at lenorth in the old records, and though we read 
that in those days such feats were deemed 
"marvellous past belief," we should smile if 
anybody were to-day to express amazement at 
seeing a circus horse perform tricks so simple. 

That Marocco should be able to walk upright 
upon his hind legs, for instance, was considered 



HORSE AND OWNER BURNT 185 

so astounding that questions were asked in all 
seriousness as to whether supernatural aid of some 
kind had not been invoked ! 

In addition to this, Marocco would rear, kneel, 
sit, or lie down, when told to do so, and he would 
indicate amongst the spectators any individual 
selected by his trainer. 

What was deemed most remarkable of all, 
however, was a performance in which Marocco 
walked backwards, "the while turning in circles," 
when Banks ordered him to do so. 

We are told that upon witnessing this perform- 
ance a proportion of the audience was so deeply 
affected that several people dared not remain. 
Consequently one is less surprised at reading 
that when, later. Banks and his pupil gave a per- 
formance in Rome, both man and horse were 
pronounced to be in league with the devil and 
ordered to be publicly burnt as magicians, which 
monstrous sentence was duly carried out. 

In justice let it be said that this act of barbarity 
— the direct outcome of the pitiable ignorance of 
the age — created intense indignation in England, 
while in Italy it stirred up a strong feeling of 
resentment. 

Attempts were made later to create the im- 
pression that political wirepullers had been at 
work, and that man and horse had been sacrificed 
expressly to make bad blood between the British 
Court and the Vatican, if not between England 



i86 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

and Italy, but there is no reason for believing that 
the agitators achieved their purpose. 

Nor, indeed, is it certain that Banks' death 
sentence was pronounced by the Pope, or by his 
order. That the man had come to be looked 
upon as a magician, however, in every part of 
Italy where his horse had been exhibited, ap- 
parently is beyond dispute. 

Though strolling players of many sorts were, 
as we know, plentiful in Elizabeth's reign, it 
seems more than likely that the exhibition given 
by Marocco may directly have inaugurated in 
England the practice of training animals to per- 
form tricks of the same sort for public shows. 

Certainly we hear soon after IMarocco's tragic 
end that exhibitions of performing animals were 
advertised to take place in different parts of the 
country, and from that time onward incidental 
allusions to entertainments of the kind that we 
to-day call circuses are to be found in some of the 
old books. 

There mention is made of the methods em- 
ployed in order to train the animals to their 
owners' satisfaction, methods barbarous enough, 
in all conscience. Yet none took exception to 
them. For the tendency of the age, three 
centuries ago, and down probably to a much later 
period, was one of cruelty. The literature of 
the last three hundred years makes that but too 
apparent. 



CHAPTER V 

King Henry VIII. and Queen Elizabeth passionately fond of 
hunting — John Selwyn's remarkable feat in the hunting field ; the 
monument at Walton-on-Thames — Don Quixote and his steed, 
Rosinante ; Peter of Provence's wooden horse, Babieca ; Clavileno 
and the Cid's horse — Mary Queen of Scots' favourite horses — 
Queen Elizabeth's retinue of 2400 horses — Arundel, Aquiline, 
Brigadore — The horses of Anatolia and Syria — Sir Robert Carey's 
historic ride from London to Edinburgh in sixty hours — The 
horses of Napoleon I. 

CO far as hunting was concerned, Henry VHI. 
^^ was, as we know, a keen sportsman, and Queen 
Elizabeth would appear to have been almost an 
equally enthusiastic sportsman. Passionately 
devoted to the chase, nothing gave her greater 
pleasure than to see " the quarry broken up before 
her." Statements to this effect are to be found 
in the works of three trustworthy writers at least, 
so we may take it that the records are approxi- 
mately accurate. The queen "loved to be on 
horseback for its own sake," and was fond of 
open air at all times. 

It is in connection with Elizabeth's partiality 
for the chase that the story is told of a man named 
John Selwyn, for many years under keeper of 
the park at Oaklands, in Surrey, where some of 
the queen's hunters were usually stabled during 
the autumn and winter. 
187 



i88 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Selwyn must in several ways have been a re- 
markable character, but it is with his horseman- 
ship only that we have here to deal. On the 
occasion, then, of a great stag hunt which the 
queen had arranged should take place in the 
park at Oaklands, Selwyn was "chief in attend- 
ance " — in other words, huntsman. 

Suddenly, as we are told, a stag was started. 

When it had been hunted only a short time, a 
fear was expressed by the queen that it would 
escape, "the animal having proved of such un- 
usual swiftness that it was feared the hounds 
would not be able to overtake it." 

Determined that this should not happen, " Sel- 
wyn pressed spurs to his horse, and galloping at 
an angle, and sideways," succeeded in coming 
alongside the stag as it was about to turn off 
abruptly. 

At once the enthusiasm and excitement of the 
spectators, especially of the queen, became in- 
tense ; nor did it abate when they saw Selwyn, 
still galloping at top speed, neck and neck with 
the stag, suddenly vault right off his horse's 
back on to the stag's, "where he kept his seat 
gracefully in spite of every effort of the affrighted 
beast to throw him off." 

Thus he galloped on for some yards, the queen 
and all the spectators wondering what he would 
do next. They were not kept long in suspense. 
Of a sudden Selwyn swiftly but calmly drew 



DON QUIXOTE AND HIS STEED 189 

out his hunting knife. Then he began to prod 
the animal with its point, first on one side of its 
neck, then on the other, until at last he succeeded 
in forcing the stag to gallop round to a point 
within a few yards of the very spot where the 
queen sat waiting. 

At last, when the animal was very near the 
queen, its rider suddenly plunged his knife deep 
into its throat, " so that the blood spurted out and 
the beast fell dead just by her feet." 

This display is said to have delighted the queen 
so greatly that she soon afterwards granted 
Selwyn several favours, and on the monument 
still to be seen at Walton -on -Thames he is 
portrayed in the act of stabbing, in the manner 
described, the stag slaughtered on that memorable 
occasion. Selwyn died on 27th March, 1587. 



Of the famous horses of fiction and romance 
in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, one or 
two more must be mentioned. Don Quixote's 
immortal squire, Sancho Panza, who, it will be 
remembered, rode upon an ass named Dapple, 
was Governor of Barataria. 

Though endowed with common sense, and 
though his proverbs have become historical, he 
was wholly devoid of what is sometimes called 
" spirituality." 



I90 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Nevertheless Don Quixote and his horse, 
Rosinante — a name that means Hterally " for- 
merly a hack " — came gradually to be renowned 
the world over. 

To this day, indeed, " a perfect Rosinante " is 
the comment not infrequently passed upon a 
horse that is mostly skin and bone. 

Peter of Provence's wooden horse, Babieca, 
is another "creature" whose name must not be 
omitted. 

"This very day," we read in Don Quixote, 
" may be seen in the King's armoury the identi- 
cal peg with which Peter of Provence turned his 
wooden horse which carried him through the 
air. It is rather bigger than the pole of a coach, 
and stands near Babieca's saddle." 

Don Quixote himself rode astride the wooden 
horse, Clavileno, on the occasion when he wished 
to disenchant the Infanta Antonomasia and her 
husband shut up in the tomb of Queen Maguncia, 
of Candaya, and Peter of Provence rode it when 
he made off with beautiful Mag^alona. 

Merlin was the name of its maker, and the 
horse was so constructed that it could be governed 
by turning a wooden peg in its forehead. The 
name means "wooden peg." A comprehensive 
description of these incidents may be found in 
the fourth and fifth chapters of the third book of 
" Don Quixote," but the description is not of 
sufficient interest to be quoted here. 



MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS' HORSES 191 

The story of the Cid's horse, to date back to an 
earlier century, is almost as well known as the 
story of Rosinante. The Cid's horse died some 
two and a half years after its master's death, and 
during the whole of that period none rode it, the 
order having gone forth that under no circum- 
stances was anybody to mount the animal. At 
its death its body was buried near the gate of 
the monastery at Valencia, two trees being 
planted close to the grave to mark its where- 
abouts. 

According to the popular legend, the horse 
acquired its name through Rodrigo's having, 
when told in his youth that he might select a 
horse, chosen an almost valueless colt. His 
godfather, annoyed at this display of ignorance, 
at once nicknamed the lad "the dolt," which 
nickname Rodrigo presently conferred upon the 
horse itself. Literally, however, " Cid " is Arabic 
for "lord." 



Among the few traits in the character of Mary 
Queen of Scots that have not formed subjects for 
controversy among the many biographers of that 
ill-starred sovereign, her undoubted fondness for 
animals stands out prominently. 

From first to last I have read many bio- 
graphies of Mary Queen of Scots, and it is 



192 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

remarkable that no two coincide consistently in 
their statements, from which we are forced to the 
conclusion that the majority of such works have 
been produced by writers who either were bigoted 
or deeply prejudiced, or else who had some private 
axe to grind. 

With regard to Mary's horses, her two chief 
favourites would appear to have been Rosabella 
— the animal at one time worshipped by a propor- 
tion of the body of minor poets ! — and Agnes, 
called after Agnes of Dunbar, a countess in her 
own right. This palfrey — almost all the horses 
of the period of Mary Queen of Scots are spoken 
of as " palfreys " — apparently came as a gift from 
her brother, Moray, and though it does not appear 
to have been a steed of exceptional quality she 
was extraordinarily fond of it. We find it referred 
to occasionally as Black Agnes. 

Then, though all the evidence obtainable tends 
to convey the impression that Mary Queen of 
Scots must have been a clever horsewoman, she 
does not appear to have been very fond of 
hunting, in consequence of which two at least of 
her biographers go so far as to hint that her 
alleged distaste for the chase tended in a measure 
to increase Elizabeth's hostility towards her. 

P^rom what early historians tell us, Mary 
probably looked far better on a horse than 
Elizabeth ever did — the slimness alone of Mary's 
figure by contrast with Elizabeth's may have 



qUEEN ELIZABETH^S RETINUE 193 

been In a measure responsible for this — and the 
knowledge must have vexed Elizabeth, who 
took particular pride in her riding and was 
desirous above many other things to be deemed 
a finished horsewoman. How vast a number of 
horses must have been owned by the nobles and 
by other persons of wealth who dwelt scattered 
over the whole of England may be gathered from 
the statement of Ralph Hollnshed that Queen 
Elizabeth alone required, when she travelled, 
some 2400 animals, almost all of which had to 
be provided by residents In the districts In which 
she moved. 

The majority of these horses were employed to 
drag the great carts which contained the queen's 
baggage, yet we are told that " the ancient use 
of somers and sumpter horses " having been 
" utterly relinquished, causeth the trains of our 
princes in their progresses to show far less 
than those of the kings of other nations." 

Naturally it must be borne In mind that the 
weight of the baggage of persons of rank in the 
sixteenth century was excessive, especially when 
It was added to the weight of the clumsy carts 
that were used for the conveyance of such bag- 
gage, so that four, six and even more horses 
were often enough harnessed to a single cart 
when it was fully loaded. 

Then, too, the roads were for the most part In 
so bad a state of repair — many of them could not, 

N 



194 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

properly speaking, be called roads at all — that 
frequent changes of horses were necessary. 



In Drayton's well-known " Polyolbion " we have 
a horse that is very famous in romance. Arundel 
by name — a name that is said to have been 
originally a corruption of the French word, 
hirondelle — it was " swifter than the swiftest 
swallow." This horse belonged to Bevis of 
Southampton, " the remarkable knight," and 
apparently it had as many good points as any 
animal can possess. In the sixteenth century 
almost every horse of note actually living, or in 
romance, took its name from one or other of its 
chief characteristics. Thus in Tasso's " Jerusalem 
Delivered" we find Raymond's steed, Aquiline, 
that was bred on the banks of the Tagus, 
particularly remarkable for what we should to- 
day call a Roman nose. 

Aquiline figures largely in "Jerusalem De- 
livered," and Raymond, who was Count of Tou- 
louse and commander of some 4000 infantry, and 
who, in addition, was remarkable for his wisdom 
and coolness in debate, is shown to have owed 
a measure of his success to Aquiline's phenomenal 
sagacity. Indeed Aquiline probably saved him 
from destruction upon more than one occasion. 

We come upon other horses in several por- 



BRIG ADORE 195 

tions of "Jerusalem Delivered," especially in 
connection with the slaying by Raymond of 
Aladine, the cruel old king. The stirring de- 
scription of this incident, and of the planting of 
the Christian standard upon the tower of David 
by Raymond, is to be found in the twentieth 
book ; but as we know that the Holy Land was 
being ruled by the Caliph of Egypt at the very 
time Raymond is supposed to have been attacking 
King Aladine, it at once becomes obvious that 
the narrative must have been fictitious. 



" The Faerie Queene " is another classic in 
which we find interesting allusions to horses, 
mostly the horses of romance. 

One of the best known of these animals is 
Brigadore, called sometimes Brigliadore, which 
belonged to Sir Guyon, and was remarkable for 
a black mark in its mouth, in shape like a horse- 
shoe. 

Sir Guyon, who impersonated Temperance or 
Self-Government, was the companion of Prudence, 
and he alludes several times to Brigadore. His 
fame, as most scholars will remember, rests in 
a great measure upon his destruction of the 
enchantress, Acrasia, in the bower called the 
Bower of Bliss, which was situated in the Wander- 
ing Island. 



196 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

The name Acrasia means self-indulgence, 
and this witch was particularly dreaded because 
of her partiality for transforming her lovers 
into monstrous shapes and then keeping them 
captive. 

The story of Sir Guyon's stealthy approach 
while Acrasia lay unsuspectingly in her bower, 
and of the way in which he succeeded in throwing 
a net over her, subsequently in binding her firmly 
in chains of adamant, then in breaking down "her 
accursed bower " and burning it to ashes, is too 
well known to need description here, and of course 
it has no direct bearing upon Brigadore. 

So far as we can judge, the horses of Anatolia 
and Syria must have been well known in Europe 
by about the middle of the sixteenth century, 
though one or two writers aver that they did not 
come over until later. 

An artist who died about the year 1603, and 
whose name was Stradamus, produced, not long 
before his death, a series of drawings, and a set 
of these was subsequently issued under the title, 
" Equile Johannis Ducis Austriaci," which means, 
" The Stable of Don John of Austria." 

It is interesting to note in this connection 
that practically all the horses and mares im- 
ported between the year 1660 and the year 1685 
came from Smyrna, though the renowned Darley 
Arabian and several more came from Aleppo. 

This is of particular importance in relation to 



SIR ROBERT CAREY'S RIDE 197 

the records of the horse in England's history, for 
there can be no doubt that a great part of our 
thoroughbred racing stock is descended from 
these very early importations. 



That remarkable feats of horsemanship were 
performed in the reign of Elizabeth is beyond 
dispute, but unfortunately the particulars obtain- 
able are extremely meagre. 

Of Sir Robert Carey's historic ride upon the 
death of the queen, details worth recording are 
given. No sooner had the queen breathed her last, 
we are told, than Sir Robert Carey, notorious syco- 
phant that he was, who for days and nights had 
been loitering about the queen's bed-chamber and 
displaying the keenest anxiety as to her condition, 
set off on horseback to convey to the heir, King 
James, the news of her death. 

" So great was his desire to bring the news 
to King James before that monarch had heard it 
from any other source," we read, "that with the 
lamentations of the dead queen's women still 
ringing in his ears he left the bedside of his 
kinswoman and benefactress and started to 
announce the important tidings to King James, 
an act quite as indelicate as it was wholly un- 
authorised." 

Sir Robert's indelicacy, or alleged indelicacy, 



198 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

however, is no concern of ours. As a feat of 
endurance, his ride was truly an extraordinary 
one, for he actually galloped the whole distance 
from London to Edinburgh, about 400 miles, in 
less than sixty hours, though during the journey 
he had at least one severe fall. 

How many horses he rode I have not been 
able to ascertain, but that he had made in advance 
full preparations for this journey is more than 
likely, as it is beyond dispute that he had covered 
the first 160 miles by nightfall on the day after he 
started. The exact time at which he set out 
we are not told. 

What made the feat more wonderful still was 
the condition of nearly all the roads in England 
during Elizabeth's reign, with the exception 
of the Roman roads and a few besides, some 
north of Doncaster being really little more than 
tracks. 

That Sir Robert Carey was well repaid for his 
enterprise may be gathered from the statement 
that King James I. "rewarded him for being the 
first to bring him the glad news, by granting him 
signal favours." 



From about this period onward the horse may 
be said to have entered upon the third phase of 
its career in the history of all nations, but more 



THIRD PHASE OF ITS CAREER 199 

especially in the history of our own nation. For, 
as we have seen, from very early times down to 
the period of the Norman Conquest the nations 
that had not horses had almost without exception 
been forced to take a secondary place in the 
world's progress. 

From the period of the Norman Conquest down 
to the begfinnino" of the accession of the House of 
Stuart — indeed, as we shall see presently, almost 
down to the period of the Commonwealth — the 
improvement and development of the horse as an 
"arm" in warfare had gone practically hand in 
hand with the improvement in the training of men 
to fight in battle. And from then onward, that 
is to say from the beginning of the period of the 
Stuarts and the Commonwealth, down to the 
present day, the horse has been connected with 
history in the capacity of charger or war horse, 
hunter or pleasure horse, and thoroughbred or 
race horse. 

Let me state at once, then, that it is not my 
intention to describe at length, or even to mention 
by name, all the more or less famous horses that 
have been owned by the more prominent or dis- 
tinguished men at any time within the last three 
hundred years, for such a collection of names, or 
of descriptions, would not be likely to prove of in- 
terest to the modern reader. In addition com- 
paratively few of the records concerning these 
animals bear the impress of truth. 



200 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

As we come to the close of the nineteenth 
and the opening of the twentieth centuries 
historical records increase enormously in volume, 
so that now we find ourselves confronted by a 
mass of reports, many of which bear directly 
upon horses that are of no interest whatever, 
though they may have belonged to famous men 
whose names are still household words. 

Thus in a single history of Napoleon I. we 
find two pages of descriptive matter to do with 
a horse of his called Wagram ; two pages about 
Cyrus, another of his horses ; a page about his 
horse named Emir ; half-a-page about his Coco ; 
three pages about Gongalve ; two about Coquet ; 
three about Tausis, and so on all the way through, 
while everything that is said about them could 
quite easily be condensed into three or four short 
sentences. 

Indeed the biographers of the majority of our 
great military leaders have deemed it necessary 
to write long and verbose descriptions of the 
animals that were owned by these historical 
celebrities, apparently for no other reason than 
that they did belong to celebrities. 

When all is said, it is difficult to imagine how 
or whence they can have obtained such circum- 
stantial information. Granting, however, the 
truth of all the statements — and one cannot say 
definitely that any one of them is not true in 
every detail — was it worth while to tell us that 



NAPOLEON'S HORSES 201 

Piers Gaveston owned a grey, or that Blucher 
remarked upon some uninteresting occasion that 
he had a horse that used to jib ? 

Yet trivial points of this sort are to be found 
mentioned in plenty of the so-called popular bio- 
graphies of our great men. 

Of more interest it would have been had the 
biographers succeeded in discovering, and then 
told us, what sort of bits Napoleon liked to 
ride his chargers in, and his reason or reasons 
for preferring them, or whether Blucher ever 
tried his grey in blinkers. Then the horses 
described at such weary length might possibly 
have tauo;"ht us a lesson or two worth learninof. 



PART III 

FROM THE STUART PERIOD TO THE 
PRESENT DAY 

CHAPTER I 

Arrival of the Markham Arabian, the first Arab imported into 
England — Newmarket village founded by James I. — Decline of the 
"great horse" — The Royal Studs — James I. organises a race 
meeting on the frozen River Ouse — Superstitious beliefs concerning 
horses — James I. meets with a grotesque riding mishap — Pro- 
sperity of the Turf — Riding match between Lord Haddington and 
Lord Sheffield — The Turf vigorously denounced as "an evil likely 
to imperil the whole country's prosperity" 

" TT'ING JAMES I.'s love of racing," writes a 
trustworthy chronicler of the movements 
at the court of James I. and Charles I. "was 
due to the importation into England of the first 
Arab horse ever seen here." 

That simple statement records one of the most 
important incidents that has occurred in the 
development of the horse in this country, an 
incident that subsequently proved to be of great 
moment in connection with the history of Great 
Britain. For though the assertion has many 
times been controverted, careful research proves 
beyond doubt that until the arrival in England 



THE MARKHAM ARABIAN 203 

of the Markham Arabian — which in after genera- 
tions was to become so greatly renowned — no Arab 
of any sort had been brought into this country. 

The stories that have been told of this, the 
first of the famous Eastern sires, are numerous, 
and, as is usual in such cases, the majority of 
them are apparently untrue. 

One of the most widely circulated of the mis- 
statements was to the effect that the price paid 
by King James to Mr Markham for this particular 
Arab sire was not less than ^500, and in papers 
and books almost innumerable, in which the 
Markham Arabian is mentioned, this false state- 
ment is repeated. 

That it is false beyond dispute is proved by 
the actual entry of the purchase that may be 
seen to this day in the Exchequer or Receipt 
Order Books in the Public Record Office. The 
entry runs as follows : — 

" Item the 20th of December, 1616, paid to 
Master Markham for the Arabian Horse for His 
Majesty's own use, ^154, o. o." 

It is almost inconceivable that anyone can 
seriously have believed that ^500, or any sum 
approaching it, could have been paid for this sire, 
for at that period no sum approaching ^500 ever 
was paid for any horse, the purchasing value of 
money being until after the reign of James I. so 
much in excess of its purchasing value some two 
centuries later. 



204 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

That several thoroughbred Eastern sires were 
bought by James is well known, among the last 
to which reference is made by the historians being 
the famous Villiers Arabs, which the king does 
not appear to have acquired until towards the 
end of his reign. 

Yet in spite of all that has been said and 
written about John Markham's stallion, the horse 
was not, according to that excellent judge of 
horses, the Duke of Newcastle, the class of animal 
that any man would have chosen to breed from 
for looks, for, in the duke's own words, "He 
[the Markham Arabian] was a bay, but a little 
horse, and no rarity for shape ; for I have seen 
many English horses far finer. . . . Mr Markham 
sold him to the King for five hundred pounds 
(sic), and being trained up for a course, when he 
came to run, every horse beat him." 

I believe I am right in saying that the identity 
of John Markham has never been positively traced, 
also that the consensus of opinion inclines to the 
belief that he was the father of the famous author, 
Gervase Markham, who for many years held 
the post of keeper of Clipston Shraggs Walk, in 
Sherwood Forest. 

Among the works of Gervase Markham is 
a volume entitled " Cavalarice, or the English 
Horseman," in which many grotesque and un- 
intentionally humorous passages are to be found. 

Each of the eiofht books which together s^o to 



JAMES I. FOUNDS NEWMARKET 205 

make up this work is dedicated to some dis- 
tinguished personage, of whom James I. is one, 
and Henry, Prince of Wales, another. 

To James I. we are probably indebted for the 
existence of the town of Newmarket, for it is 
certain that he not only inaugurated the construc- 
tion of the village, but in addition brought his 
influence to bear upon its development, and that 
he greatly helped to stimulate the interest which 
the people of Newmarket and the neighbourhood 
already took in the breeding and training of run- 
ning horses. It may be partly for this reason 
that Newmarket is still so often spoken of as 
" the royal village." 

Notwithstanding the disappointment the Mark- 
ham Arabian must have afforded James I., we 
read that the king offered a silver bell of consider- 
able value to be run for at Newmarket, that the 
entries for the race were numerous, and that 
" the event gave rise to much speculation, wager- 
ing and public interest." 

It was, indeed, in this connection that Ben 
Jonson wrote so caustically, or rather satirically, 
in his famous "Alchemist," and alluded incident- 
ally to " the rules to cheat at horse races." 

Elsewhere Jonson describes, and mentions by 
name, some of the race horses that probably were 
well known on the Turf at about that period. 

Seeing how keen the interest was that James I. 
took almost from boyhood in all that related to 



2o6 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

the Turf, and to the breeding of race horses, we 
can hardly be surprised to hear that during his 
reign the general interest in the breeding of 
"great horses," which had been so marked a 
feature of Henry VIII. 's reign, also of Elizabeth's 
reign, at one time threatened to die out. 

Robert Reyce speaks of this in his " Breviary 
of Suffolk," a book which he dedicated to Sir 
Robert Crane, of Chiltern, and elsewhere allu- 
sions are to be found to the decay of interest in 
the breeding of "great horses," 

Indeed James appears to have admitted quite 
openly that the bare sight of the animals bored 
him "owing to the clumsy appearance they pre- 
sented," a view that is shared to-day by several 
of the more prominent of our owners of race 
horses. 

Under the circumstances it is amusing to find 
the king himself inditing a ponderous treatise 
"for the instruction and edification of his son," 
Henry, Prince of Wales, a treatise suitably 
enouofh entitled " Reli^io Reois : or the Faith 
and Duty of a Prince." 

Apparently he wrote the greater part of this 
work at Newmarket, for in it he alludes more 
than once to the races which were beino- held 
there at the time, races at which he had been 
present on the day he wrote. 

That he deemed horsemanship to be a form of 
exercise of inestimable value becomes obvious as 



THE ROYAL STUDS 207 

we read " Reli^io Reo^is " ; but then in the reign 
of almost every monarch from about the beginning 
of the Stuart period down to the time of the four 
Georges great stress is laid by the various sove- 
reigns upon the advisability that the sons of the 
nobles and of the aristocracy should become pro- 
ficient horsemen. 

The author of "The Court of King James" 
also is emphatic in his advice to courtiers "to be 
very forwardly inclined to bring up horses," add- 
ing that such horses should be bred from the best 
strains only, and that no matter how great the 
sum expended in order to secure good strains, the 
money could not be looked upon as wasted. 

Of the royal studs in the reign of James I., the 
most important probably were those at Newmarket, 
at Eltham, atTutbury, Malmesbury and Cole Park, 
and among the manuscripts in the British Museum 
there may be seen to-day an interesting list of the 
"necessaries" which appertained to the royal 
stables, all classified under separate headings — 
geldings, cart horses, coursers, hunters, battle 
horses, and so on. 

Remarks upon the part played by the horse in 
history at about this time are to be found also in 
Lodge's " Illustrations of British History," where, 
in the third volume, we read that on 6th April 
1605 there arrived at Greenwich Palace "a dozen 
gallant mares, all with foal, four horses, and eleven 
stallions, all coursers of Naples." 



2o8 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

These the archduke begged King James to 
accept as a small mark of the esteem in which 
the king was held by himself and his country- 
men. 

In the historical records of almost the whole of 
James I.'s reign we find reference made repeatedly 
to race horses, also to the sport of hunting. An 
important fixture, as we should call it to-day, 
apparently was the Chester Meeting. It took 
place on St George's Day, and the chief race 
was known as "The St George's Cup." The 
riders carried ten stone, and the entrance stake 
was half-a-crown. 

A quaint rule in connection with this race was 
that the winning owner had to contribute to a fund 
for the benefit of the prisoners confined in the 
North Gate jail "the sum of six shillings and 
eightpence or three shillings and fourpence, on 
certain conditions." 

In addition to the cup, silver bells were run for 
at this meeting, and it is interesting to learn that 
before removing their prizes the cup winner and 
the bell winners were compelled to deposit "ade- 
quate security " — presumably with the race com- 
mittee — for these trophies. For all the principal 
trophies had to be run for again at the following 
meeting, and we are told quite seriously that it 
was feared that if the temporary owners were 
allowed to remove these prizes without leaving 
any security they might have been disposed to 



THE TURF IN JAMES I.'S REIGN 209 

make away with them before the date of the next 
meeting- ! 

At the Chester Meeting, and therefore pre- 
sumably elsewhere, the sheriff acted as starter, 
" and if any rider committed foul play during the 
race he was disqualified in case he won." 

About the year 1624, however, certain changes 
were made in the rules of racing, and from that 
time onward some of the races were run five 
times round the course instead of only three 
times, also the winner of a cup became entitled 
to retain it as his property " upon the first 
occasion of gaining it." 

Professional jockeys in the reign of James I. 
held, in a sense, quite a good position. The 
king associated with them frequently, especially 
at Newmarket. Indeed, he openly admitted that 
he preferred the company of sportsmen to that 
of politicians, and that the surroundings of the 
racecourse and the pleasures of the chase attracted 
him far more than did the business of the state. 

His enemies, as we know, took advantage of 
these carelessly uttered assertions when later 
they set to work to encompass his downfall, 
and during the closing years of his reign he 
was made to suffer unjustly for many of the 
minor follies of his youth. 

It was wholly characteristic of James that he 
should upon one occasion — he was staying at 
Croydon at the time in order to attend the 



2 10 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

race meeting that was held there in Easter week 
— have in a sudden access of emotional en- 
thusiasm created his friend, Philip Herbert, a 
knight, a baron and a viscount in the course of 
a few minutes. 

This he is said to have done in order to mark 
his appreciation of Herbert's self-control when, 
after being struck in the face by a Scotsman 
named Ramsey, Herbert refrained from hitting 
back. 

Though the king and all his courtiers and 
many strangers were present upon the occasion, 
Herbert did not betray the least sign of annoy- 
ance, though the blow was a severe one. 

It should be borne in mind that during James's 
reign the Scots had, as a nation, come to be 
almost execrated, so that the affront was all the 
greater. 

The king is said to have expressed it as his 
opinion that under the circumstances Philip 
Herbert's self-restraint came near to being heroic ! 

As James's fondness for racing increased, so 
did the great majority of his nobles, his barons 
and his courtiers profess to grow fonder of the 
sport, while many soon took to gambling with 
great recklessness. 

This the kingapparentlyencouraged them to do, 
for we learn that he was " wont to laugh heartily 
when told that some of his sycophants had lost 
exceptionally large sums of money," or, as was 



A RACE MEETING ON THE ICE 211 

frequently the case, that one or other of them 
had been compelled to part with a portion of his 
estates in order to meet debts of honour. The 
women of the court also aped the king at this 
time, as indeed they appear to have done in 
almost every age. Yet their losses were small 
by comparison with the sums lost on the Turf 
by their daughters and granddaughters in the 
reign of Charles II., half-a-century or so later. 

Two years after James I. had ascended the 
throne there set in one of the coldest winters 
this country has ever known, with the result that 
a lonof stretch of the River Ouse became frozen 
over and so afforded the king an opportunity, of 
which he was quick to avail himself, of organising 
a race-meeting on the ice. 

Drake tells us that the course extended "from 
the tower at the end of Marygate, under the 
great arch of the bridge, to the crane at Skelder- 
ofate Postern." 

But even so early as this in the reign of King 
James the opponents of horse racing began to 
raise indignant protests against "the folly and 
wickedness of betting on running horses," pro- 
tests to which but scant attention was paid. 

Not until some years later did the extremely 
zealous clergyman named Hinde set seriously to 
work to denounce the practice of gambling in any 
and every form, and he appears then to have 
spoken and written so forcibly that many persons 



212 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

of intelligence and education — I quote from a 
trustworthy source — gathered round and strove 
to encourage him to the best of their ability. 

Racing in particular he waged war against, 
declaring it to be " an exercise of profaneness 
diligently followed by many of our gentlemen 
and by many of inferior rank also." Great 
injury, he maintained, was done by men of rank 
and others " who of their weekly and almost 
daily meetings, and matches on their bowling 
greens, or their lavish betting of great wagers in 
such sorry trifles, and of their stout and strong 
abbeting of so sillie vanaties amongst hundreds, 
sometimes thousands, of rude and vile persons to 
whom they should give better, and not so bad 
example and encouragement, as to be idle in 
neglecting their callings ; wasteful in gaming, 
and spending their means ; wicked in cursing 
and swearing, and dangerously profane in their 
brawling and quarrelling." 

These observations, and many more to the 
same effect, are to be found in the " Biography 
of Bruen " ; yet in the long run the diatribes 
made but little difference, for the passion for 
gambling had taken a firm hold of the people 
of almost all classes, and while it lasted it flourished 
exceedingly. 

We do not hear of many famous horses during 
the reign of James I., save the sires which the 
king himself imported ; yet it is certain that the 



SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEFS 213 

popularity of the horse increased during the first 
two decades of the seventeenth century, quite 
apart from the popularity that betting upon 
horse races continued to acquire. 

As a natural result, perhaps, greater attention 
soon came to be paid to the management and 
care of horses, to feeding and exercising them, 
so that probably the owners of the thoroughbreds 
of those days had begun to realise, as they do not 
appear to have done before, that a horse's work- 
ing years may be considerably prolonged if he be 
fed carefully and exercised regularly. 

Indeed the crass ignorance that until about 
this time had prevailed with regard to the treat- 
ment of sick horses comes near to being- ludicrous. 
Superstition, as we know, was rampant in con- 
nection with the curing of suffering humanity, 
and various forms of superstition extended in a 
great measure to the treatment of animals that 
were out of health. 

Thus we read of horses supposed to be pos- 
sessed by evil spirits, when what they probably 
were suffering from was an attack of simple 
staggers ; of witches being consulted when a 
horse went lame, and paid liberally for their 
grotesque advice, and so on to the end. 

That horses so often went lame at about this 
period was due probably to the ignorance of 
many of the farriers of the very rudiments of 
practical farriery. 



214 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

In Ireland, possibly also in parts of England, 
a horse with what is called to-day a "wall" eye 
was looked upon as a harbinger of evil, and 
deemed likely to bring bad luck, especially upon 
the family and relatives of the man who owned 
it ; while any man so "ill-advised" as to breed a 
fearsome creature of this kind often was after- 
wards glanced at askance by persons who before 
he had numbered amongst his friends. 

Then there existed also a superstitious belief 
in connection with a horse with a white hoof, but 
what this particular superstition was I have not 
been able to discover. Apparently the owner of 
a horse so marked was glad enough to get rid of 
it for a sum much below its true worth, and gener- 
ally he deemed himself fortunate if able to sell 
such a horse at all. 

An instance is on record of a weakly foal being 
left out all night in a snowstorm as a superstitious 
test. We are told that it died of exposure, and 
that its owner at once thanked God for His 
mercy in having taken from him a creature born 
with an evil spirit, the inference being that but 
for the alleged evil spirit the little foal would 
have been able to withstand the rigour of the 
blizzard and the intense cold. 

Stolen horses in particular were believed to 
possess a supernatural power that would enable 
them to find their way home to their rightful 
masters if they succeeded in escaping from the 



JAMES I. PREFERS TALL HORSES 215 

thief. Bat plenty of horses, as we know, are 
to-day able to find their way home from a long 
way off, horses that have not necessarily been 
stolen. 

In justice let it be said that James laughed to 
scorn the majority of these superstitious beliefs. 
This is strange, for in some respects he must 
have been almost as superstitious as many of 
his courtiers — and for that matter as the great 
bulk of his subjects. 

Partial to tall horses, he expressed a wish that 
his nobles should not ride cobs, deemino- such 
animals to be out of keeping with the majesty of 
the court. 

It was probably for this reason that he strove 
to encourage his subjects to ride tall horses. 

Then, though several historians appear to take 
it for granted that the Turkish horse was un- 
known in Enofland until the arrival of the famous 
Byerley Turk in 1689, we may rest assured that 
Turkish horses were here in James's time, and 
probable before his time. Blunderville is only 
one of the early writers who say so in so many 
words. Incidentally he mentions that fully a 
century before the Byerley Turk was brought over 
he himself had seen "horses come from Turkey, 
as well into Italic as thither into England, indif- 
ferentlie faire to the eie, tho' not verie great nor 
stronglie made, yet very light and swift in their 
running, and of great courage." 



2i6 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Also we read that about the year 1617 "half- 
a-dozen Barbry horses" were brought to England 
by Sir Thomas Edmonds and stabled at New- 
market in the royal paddocks. 

A quaint description is to be found in the 
works of several of the writers in James I.'s reign 
of an accident that befell the king in December of 
the year 1621 as he was riding after dinner, an 
accident that in spite of its undeniable grotesque- 
ness might well have proved disastrous. 

The king, it seems, had "gone abroad early 
in the day, and to Theobald's to dinner." He 
appears to have enjoyed his dinner at Theobald's 
greatly, and to have decided quite suddenly, as 
soon as the meal was over, that he would like 
"to ride on horseback abroad." 

The accident that presently was to occur is 
attributed by different writers to different causes, 
the most charitable of the reports being to the 
effect that the king's horse stumbled and threw 
his royal master on to the frozen surface of the 
New River "with so much violence that the ice 
brake and he fell in so that nothing but his boots 
were seen." 

Sir Richard Youno-, who chanced to be ridino- 
just behind him, instantly sprang off his horse 
and succeeded with the help of a friend, though 
only with great difficulty, in dragging the dripping 
monarch "out of the hole and his undignified 
predicament." 



JAMES I.'S GROTESQUE MISHAP 217 

According to another chronicler, "there came 
much water out of his mouth and body," yet 
" His Majesty rid back to Theobald's, went into 
a warme bed, and, as we heere, is well, which 
God continue." 

That the king had a sense of humour is made 
manifest by the statement that upon his recovery 
he laughed heartily at the recollection of the 
incident, while we are further told that his 
gratitude to Sir Richard Young, his rescuer, 
"did not stop short at the hearty grasp of the 
hand he gave him." 

Mention has already been made of James's 
strange literary work, " Religio Regis : or the 
Faith and Duty of a Prince." This is said to 
have been written during the King's temporary 
residence at Newmarket "for the betterment of 
his health " [sic). 

It was produced primarily for "the instruction 
and edification " of his son, Henry, at that time 
Prince of Wales, but it came to be read widely 
by his nobles and all about the court. 

In this remarkable treatise we are told that 
" the honourablest and most commendable Games 
that a king can use are on Horseback, for it 
becomes a Prince above all Men to be a good 
Horseman. And use such Games on Horseback 
as may teach you to handle your Arms thereon, 
such as Tilt, Ring, and low-riding for handling 
your sword. . . . 



2i8 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

" As for hunting, the most honourable and 
noblest Sport thereof is with running Hounds ; 
for it is a thievish sport of hunting to shoot with 
Guns and Bows. . . . 

" However, in using either of these Sports 
observe such Moderation that you slip not there- 
with Hours appointed for your Affairs, which you 
ought ever precisely to keep ; remembering that 
these Pastimes are but ordain'd for you to enable 
you for your Office, to which you are call'd by 
your Birth." 

Before the close of James's reign the Turf bore 
every sign of having been granted a fresh lease 
of life. Private riding matches among men of 
rank and wealth had become popular again, and 
though some of these were "'cross-country 
matches," plenty were ridden on the flat, upon 
which occasions vast sums of money were run 
for almost always. 

Of these races one that seems to have attracted 
much attention was run in the year 1622, for a 
cup valued at twelve pounds, when the crowd that 
assembled was one of the biggest at that time on 
record. 

The wagers that were made were mostly in 
large sums, and we are told that, to the surprise 
of the majority of the betting men "and their 
subsequent discomfiture," the race, in which there 
were six "tryers," was won by an outsider, the 
property of a popular sportsman, Sir George Bowes. 



PROSPERITY OF THE TURF 219 

The judge in this race was a Mr Humphrey 
Wyvell, and so greatly annoyed did the crowd 
become at the defeat of the favourite that they 
made a desperate attempt to attack the judge, 
with the intention of injuring him seriously, an 
attempt that fortunately was frustrated. 

We are not told if the king was present upon 
this occasion, but the principal racing men of the 
period undoubtedly were there. The king him- 
self attended a meeting at Lincoln in the spring 
of 161 7, where he lost very heavily. 

Towards the end of this reign strong opposition 
to the increasing popularity of racing began to 
manifest itself among what we should to-day call 
the middle class, owing, so it was said, to the 
sport being vigorously denounced from pulpit 
and platform as a growing national evil, " one 
likely to imperil the whole country's prosperity." 

For some time the king strove to smother 
these denunciations, and he even partially suc- 
ceeded in the attempt. 

Yet in the end the people must have triumphed, 
for we read that James was still on the throne 
when some of the more popular of the flat-race 
meetings were tacitly allowed to be abandoned, 
while in 1620 the meeting which usually had 
been held at Thetford was directly suppressed 
by an order of the Privy Council. 

Among the most important of the private 
riding matches, as they were then called, that 



220 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

took place in James's reign was the one arranged 
at Newmarket between Lord Haddington and 
Lord Sheffield. 

Run at Huntingdon towards the end of the year 
1607, the race was extremely exciting from start 
to finish. Both men appear to have been good 
riders, and the stake run for is said to have 
amounted to a considerable sum. 

Yet the various accounts of the match give 
versions which differ widely as to what hap- 
pened, and while one writer declares that Lord 
Haddington won with difficulty, another con- 
tradicts him by maintaining that the stake was 
awarded to Lord Sheffield. 

With regard to the pictures that are said to 
have been drawn from life in those days, if they 
are true to life it becomes obvious that some 
three centuries ago it was not customary for 
race riders, or "tryers," to stand in their stirrups 
while riding races, as they do to-day and most 
certainly did in the last century and the century 
before it. This is strange, for some of the 
earliest of our writers who touch incidentally 
upon the subject of race riding are rather emphatic 
in declaring that the jockey should get rid of all 
"dead" weight, and of course it is chiefly by 
standing in the stirrups that "dead" weight can 
be neutralised. 

James I. would seem to have paid more atten- 
tion to the theory of training horses he intended 



QUEER FARRIERY 221 

to run than any of his predecessors did, though 
this is not great praise, so ignorant of the funda- 
mental principles of scientific training were the 
horse owners of about that period. 

Upon slight provocation horses were freely- 
bled, just as human beings were bled or " leeched " 
less than a hundred years ago. Indeed we read 
of one horse that was bled while in the hunting 
field, owing to its having proved too restive for 
its owner to ride with comfort (!) ; while another 
was driven into a leech pond in order that the 
leeches might suck off " the goodlie warts " with 
which its belly and thighs were studded. 

So far as I have been able to ascertain, about a 
century and a half ago the leech cure was deemed 
quite the best for warts. Yet perhaps we are 
wrong to think or to speak contemptuously of the 
ignorance of our forefathers. Who can say that 
in years to come our descendants may not speak 
as contemptuously of us — their ancestors — because 
we fired horses, and because we drenched them 
with physic for various ailments ? 

Indeed there are already veterinary surgeons 
who aver that to fire a horse under any circum- 
stances is to commit a grave blunder, and that 
firing as a general practice ought emphatically to 
be abandoned. 



CHAPTER II 

First races of importance run at Newmarket — Races in Hyde 
Park — The Helmsley Turk and the Morocco Barb — Racing intro- 
duced into Holland — Importation of Spanish stallions into England 
— Prince Charles's riding master, the Duke of Newcastle — Increas- 
ing cost of horses — Marshal de Bassompierre ; his loss through 
gambling, ^500,000 in a year ; Sir John Fenwick — Sir Edward 
Harwood's pessimism — Cromwell's Ironsides — Armour discarded 
— The opposition to stage coaches ; Mr Cressett's theory ; Charles 
II. favours their adoption 

np^'HE early history of Newmarket is more or 
less wrapped in mystery, or rather in con- 
fusion ; in other words, the writers who have dealt 
with "the inauguration of Newmarket racing," 
as one of them terms it, in many instances contra- 
dict one another so flatly that the truth can be 
arrived at only by conjecture or by inference. 

Apparently the destruction of the Spanish 
Armada in 1588 was the ill wind that indirectly 
benefited Newmarket so far as its horses were 
concerned, for there is no doubt that many of the 
horses rescued from drownino- when the grreat 
vessels of the Armada were wrecked were sent 
direct to Newmarket, " where great surprise 
was expressed by all who beheld them at their 
exceeding swiftness." 

From this one would naturally conclude that 



FIRST RACES OF IMPORTANCE 223 

interestino' races were run on Newmarket Heath 
towards the close of the sixteenth century ; yet 
elsewhere we read that the first races of import- 
ance run at Newmarket took place in 1640, and 
that the round course was not made until about 
the year 1666, while a third historian goes so far 
as to declare that a gold cup run for at the New- 
market Spring Meeting of 1634 affords /^r se the 
earliest irrefutable record of such an occurrence, 
based on contemporary data. 

Yet from statements set down in an earlier 
chapter we have already seen that horse racing 
of a sort must have taken place at Newmarket 
quite a long time before this. In point of fact, 
in almost every historical record of Newmarket 
that I have come upon I have found either 
direct or indirect allusion to the renown of the 
neighbourhood of Newmarket for the horses that 
were bred or trained there. 

The horses brought ashore from the Spanish 
vessels probably were among the best that Spain 
at that time possessed, and several attempts were 
made by the Spanish to recover some of them. It 
is known that towards the close of the sixteenth 
century the Spanish were making determined 
efforts to breed faster horses than they had pre- 
viously bred, yet it is surprising that the horses 
they had brought with them upon their famous 
expedition should have been so swift, for they 
must have been animals of far heavier type than 



224 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

the animals they would in a general way breed for 
racing-. 

The Spaniards of three centuries ago, we must 
of course remember, were renowned for their 
horsemanship far more highly than their descen- 
dants of to-day are. 

In the reign of Charles I. horse races were run 
in Hyde Park, a track having been laid down 
there with great care. This meeting was im- 
mensely popular, and " the inhabitants of London 
and those parts near London assembled in their 
thousands to watch the running horses," and in 
most instances to squander large sums. 

"The Park first became under Charles I. 
the fashionable society rendezvous," Mrs Alec 
Tweedie tells us in her interesting volume, 
" Hyde Park : Its History and Romance." " Its 
greatest attraction, maybe, was the racing in the 
Ring. The occasions when organised meetings 
took place were special scenes of gaiety, and 
were evidently thought important events, as even 
among the State Papers there is preserved the 
agreement for a race that took place there." 

In later years an attempt was made to revive 
the Hyde Park race meeting, but the attempt was 
vigorously opposed by the mass of the residents in 
the neighbourhood, and by many others as well. 

A report of a race in Hyde Park appears in a 
copy of The London Post, but is undated. As The 
London Post ceased to exist after the year 1640, 




VAN I>VCK S FAMOIS 



I'ICTLKF., NOW IN THE NATruNAI. GAI.I FKV. OK CHAKLES I 
ON HORSEBACK 



HELMSLEY TURK AND MOROCCO BARB 225 

this race was run probably a year or two before 
that date. The report is said to be the first 
detailed account of a horse race ever published 
in a newspaper. 

" I made a present to the King," Sully writes, 
"of six beautiful horses richly caparisoned, and 
the Sieur of St Antoine as their keeper." The 
Sieur of St Antoine, who after being equerry to 
Prince Henry became equerry to Charles I., is 
represented in the famous Vandyck picture of 
King Charles in armour, in the picture now in 
the National Gallery. 



It was about the year 1641 that the Duke of 
Buckingham greatly helped to improve the breed 
of horses by importing the famous Helmsley Turk 
and the almost equally famous Morocco Barb. 
It is curious to read that the importation of these 
horses was at first looked upon with grave sus- 
picion by a great body of the principal horse 
breeders in this country, and by others interested 
in the horse and its development. 

To what the antagonism was owing one can 
hardly say for certain. One report has it that 
some among the duke's personal enemies — he 
had many enemies — were determined to do all in 
their power to injure him by wrecking any scheme 
in which he presumably was interested. The 



226 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

sums he paid for these horses were consider- 
able, but the excellent effect the good blood 
had upon the breed fully repaid him for the 
incidental outlay, also for the great trouble to 
which he had been put to secure such excellent 
stallions. 

Shortly before this some English officers serving 
in the Dutch army had introduced horse racing 
into Holland, and the popularity of the new sport 
began to spread there quickly. Soon a number 
of race meetings came to be organised, and in 
a short time Dutch emissaries were sent over to 
England for the express purpose of purchasing 
blood stock here. 

Being comparatively ignorant of horses — 
ignorant, that is to say, of the requirements 
essential in a racing stallion — these emissaries 
were at first cheated in the most barefaced 
manner by some of the very men who only a 
short time before had been their guests in 
Holland! 

Later, however, they succeeded in importing 
some very valuable blood stock, and in several 
respects the race meetings they presently 
organised were better arranged than many of 
the English meetings of that period. 

In 1637 we find the Duke of Newcastle ap- 
pointed Governor to Prince Charles — later to 
become King Charles II. — with special injunc- 
tions to teach him to ride well. 



THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE 227 

The duke's volume on equitation, published 
at Antwerp in 1658, contains particulars of the 
prince's progress in the art of horsemanship, 
from which we may gather that Prince Charlie 
was an exceptionally apt pupil — "a horseman by 
nature," he has been termed. 

So emphatically was this the case that in com- 
paratively a few years he professed himself able 
to ride any horse that anyone might choose to 
bring to him, an assertion in which the duke 
supported him. 

It was not long after this that the duke per- 
suaded his royal pupil to import from Spain a 
number of exceptionally fine sires, for, as he said, 
Spanish stallions were quite unsurpassed, and in 
his opinion no other sort of stallion ought to be 
admitted into this country. 

The duke himself has been described as "an 
iron horseman," but the exact meaning of the 
phrase is not quite clear. He had, according to 
some writers, an "iron" seat on a horse, while 
according to others he had "iron" hands — the 
latter a questionable compliment. 

Probably an " iron " nerve is what they really 
meant, for we know that the Duke of Newcastle 
was both a finished and a fearless horseman, two 
important qualifications that do not necessarily go 
together. We are further told that in teaching 
the prince to ride he never spared him, a state- 
ment easily believed when the duke's hard and 



228 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

resolute nature, added to his known determina- 
tion to succeed at any cost in every task he under- 
took to accompHsh, are borne in mind. Ordered 
to train the prince into a skilful horseman, he had 
at once set to work to do it to the best of his 
ability. 

Some say that as a boy Prince Charlie looked, 
when in the saddle, as if he had been born there, 
and through life this natural seat upon a horse 
stood him in good stead. 

In addition to being a graceful rider, he had 
a very strong seat, so that presumably he pos- 
sessed the precious gift that to-day we call 
"hands." 

An eighteenth-century writer, who appears 
to have had access to private manuscripts or 
documents to do with King Charles II.'s 
private life, avers that the king never, as we 
should express it, pulled a horse about. Even 
tempered with his horses, he seldom or never 
ill-treated them. They appeared to respond 
instinctively to his every touch, to understand 
what he meant by the varying inflection in his 
voice, and to divine, as if by magic, what their 
master wished them to do. Also he never out- 
rode a horse under any circumstances — never, as 
we should say, rode a horse off its legs. 

He preferred long stirrup leathers to short, but 
then in his day most men did. 

Also it is said of him that he never would look 



INCREASING COST OF HORSES 229 

twice at a horse that had bad quarters or in- 
different withers. 

Altogether it seems clear that, though he had a 
natural aptitude for horsemanship, he must have 
been carefully and very thoroughly coached in all 
the points of a horse, as well as in all that apper- 
tained to the management, training and stabling 
of horses of every kind. 



Horses had risen in price during Charles I.'s 
reign. In the reign of Charles II. they rose 
higher still. 

Thus about the year 1635 — that is to say 
towards the middle of Charles I.'s reign — 300 
and 400 pistoles was considered a moderate sum 
to pay for a well-broken young horse. 

"And the Marquis of Seralvo told me," writes 
the Duke of Newcastle, " that a Spanish horse 
called II Bravo, and sent to the Arch-Duke 
Leopold, his master, was held as much as a 
Mannor of a Thousand Crowns a year, and 
that he hath known horses at 700, 800, and 1000 
pistoles." 

Elsewhere we find indisputable evidence that 
between the beo^innino^ of Charles I.'s and 
the end of Charles II. 's reign sums varying 
from 400 to 700 pistoles must often have been 
paid for saddle horses, while for race horses 



230 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

the prices were considerably in excess of these 
sums. 

It is amusing to read that the duke spoke 
in terms almost of contempt of the Barb, for it 
shows that in one respect at least he must have 
been prejudiced in much the same way that some 
of our modern owners and trainers of thorough- 
breds are prejudiced. 

Yet he was firmly convinced that many of the 
horses imported from such countries as Germany, 
Denmark and Holland were well suited for 
harness work and for the plough. 

In face of this, and in face also of his strong 
bias in favour of Spanish stallions, it is surprising 
to hear that he deemed the English horse to be 
"the best horse in the whole world for all uses 
whatever, from the cart to the manage," and that 
he even considered some of them to be "as 
beautiful horses as can be anywhere, for they are 
bred out of all the horses of all nations." 

Equally enthusiastic upon the subject of the 
English horse and its merits, and upon its superi- 
ority over the horses of other nations, was Marshal 
de Bassompierre, who has something to say about 
them in the interesting memoirs of his embassy 
in England in 1626. 

Thus after telling us that durinsT his residence 
in this country he received from some of the high 
officers of state, also from the king himself, a 
present of fine horses, he goes on to mention 



HORSE FAIRS 231 

incidentally that it was at about this period that 
English thoroughbreds were introduced into 
France for the first time. 

This is interesting, inasmuch as certain writers 
of an earlier epoch state definitely that English 
thoroughbreds were to be seen in parts of France 
in their day. 

Bassompierre, who had been in England in 
Elizabeth's reign, is likely to have known the 
true facts. In addition to being- "addicted to 
horses," he was passionately fond of gambling, 
and the latter hobby is said to have cost him in 
a single year some ^500,000. 

A family notorious early in the Stuart era for 
its devotion to the Turf was the Fenwick family, 
so much so that several of its members are de- 
scribed as having run " quite out of their fortunes " 
in their futile attempts to transform two or three 
small fortunes into one large one. The sensa- 
tional story of Sir John Fenwick's trial, followed 
by his execution on Tower Hill in 1697, establishes 
a sort of landmark in the history of the public 
executions of the seventeenth century. 

During the first half of the same century horse 
fairs were organised throughout England, and 
year by year they became events of greater im- 
portance, many hundreds of men and women of 
all ranks travelling from far-distant parts of the 
country in order to attend them. The scenes of 
ribaldry by which manv of these fairs were fol- 



232 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

lowed would not be tolerated now. Among 
the more important of the fairs were those held 
at Ripon, Melton, Pankridge and Northampton, 
but many of the others were almost equally 
fashionable. 

It was in the reigrn of Charles I. that Sir 
Edward Harwood presented the famous petition, 
or memorial, in which he explained in forcible 
language that "good and stout horses for the 
defence of the kingdom ' would soon be to all 
intents at a premium owing to the scant attention 
that was then being paid to the breeding of such 
animals, adding that he doubted whether, if some 
2000 orreat horses should be wanted at short 
notice, it would be possible to find so many in a 
fit condition to do battle. 

The French horses of the same stamp, he went 
on to say, were in almost every way superior to 
ours, and so emphatic was he upon this last point 
that he openly declared that if some 2000 of 
the best of our great horses were to be set face 
to face in battle with an equal number of the 
Frenchmen's horses, our troops would to a 
certainty be routed with heavy loss. 

Seeing how earnestly Harwood spoke, the 
king, as we are told, expressed sorrow and great 
amazement at what he heard, and at once inquired 
the reason of the English horses' alleged in- 
feriority. 

Then it was that Sir Edward made his point. 




i.ivkrhh mac.w nRirA.N.MA.Hiiif.K.Nn ,~^JiJ>*t«' vt tutus - 



EFMriKM M'PHtiMO .Sl'tlKI .«! rV'lMM.V 



OLIVKK CROMWKLl. ON HOKSF.HACK 
Aflrr I an Pvit 



CROMWELL'S IRONSIDES 233 

With considerable bluntness he told the king that 
the decline of the great horse was due chiefly to 
the spread of racing and hunting, and to the 
growth, consequent thereon, in the number of 
race meetings that were being organised, and in 
the assemblage of persons who attended them. 

For, as he justly pointed out, so long as the 
attention of the principal body of the nobility and 
of the wealthy landed proprietors was centred 
upon the breeding almost wholly of light and 
swift horses, it was not possible to suppose that 
time would be found to attend also to the breeding 
and rearing of the powerful animals that alone 
were fit to carry men-at-arms. 

Upon hearing this, Charles declared, no doubt 
in all good faith, that he would take steps to re- 
vive the flagging interest in the production of good 
war horses, but in the end nothing practical was 
done. 

That the king himself took interest in the great 
horse we are led to infer from the fact that upon 
the big" seal he is shown ridino" astride one. In 
Vandyck's portrait of Oliver Cromwell we see 
Cromwell riding rather a light-coloured great 
horse, a point worthy of note inasmuch as we 
know that from about that time onward the term 
"great" horse was almost always taken to mean 
a black horse of this particular stamp. 

Oliver Cromwell's world-renowned Ironsides 
were not, of course, mounted on great horses. 



234 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

On the contrary, though the Ironsides proved 
themselves to be by far the most powerful cavalry 
seen in England down to that time, their strength 
was due not to their weight, but to their remark- 
able mobility. 

The dismay the Ironsides spread amongst the 
foe is said to have astonished the cavaliers them- 
selves as much as it surprised the enemy. 

For it must be borne in mind that the Ironsides 
did not wear armour. Instead they were protected 
merely by light buff coats, so that naturally they 
were able to ride far lighter and consequently 
more active, horses. 

Probably it was the good work done by Crom- 
well's cavalry that marked the turning-point in 
the life of the old regime by driving out of the 
field not only the great horses that until then had 
been deemed wholly indispensable, but also by 
sounding the death-knell of armour that for two 
centuries had been growing steadily heavier and 
more ponderous. 

For many years, however, a body of the English 
military authorities metaphorically clung doggedly 
to the clumsy horses to which they had so long been 
accustomed, and to the clumsy armour as well, 
declaring — as some of their successors do to-day 
— that the innovation of a mobile force must soon 
prove unsatisfactory and ultimately be disbanded. 

Instead, exactly the reverse happened. 

By slow degrees the armour was discarded, 



BEGINNING OF STAGE COACHES 235 

while the great horses, as we are told, were 
relegated to the coach, the waggon and the 
plough. 

Among those who adhered longest to the 
theory that England must inevitably lose her 
prestige if the great horse were ousted from her 
army for good and all was the Duke of Newcastle 
of that period. Laughed at for his pains, and 
spoken of by the younger generation as a man 
not able to see ahead of the times, he yet stood 
firmly by his opinion almost to the last. As the 
years went on, and the younger generation in 
their turn grew retrospective and pessimistic, no 
doubt they too were laughed at by their sons, and 
thus history continues to repeat itself even to the 
present day. 



At about this period many of the " good " roads 
in England were in reality little better than broad 
cart tracks, so that heavy horses were largely in 
demand. In consequence of this the prices paid 
for a good team of horses were in many instances 
out of all proportion to the animals' true worth. 
By this time, too, public stages were already 
being started on the highroads, and the com- 
petition this gave rise to soon sent up by leaps 
and bounds the value of great horses well broken 
to harness. 



236 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Of these stages the first was started probably 
about the year 1670, and its weight when empty 
must have been enormous, every part being made 
of solid timber bound with strips of iron. The 
"speed" at which it travelled — so far as one can 
gather from the early descriptive records of the 
progress of the pioneer stage — must have been 
approximately three or four miles an hour, upon 
an average, or even less. 

An excellent reproduction of the early type of 
the English great horse is to be seen in Dublin 
in the famous statue of William III. on horse- 
back. The type of horse shown is probably the 
exact type that was popular not merely in William 
II I. 's reign, but during the greater part of the 
century before he ascended the throne. 

True, in that statue the king is garbed like an 
ancient Roman, the reason being — I take the 
following statement from several Irish jarveys, 
and disclaim all responsibility for its alleged 
accuracy — that King William adored a foreigner 
and tried always to look like one! It was, 
indeed, a jarvey who remarked as we drove 
past: "Sure, and it is in hunting kit he should 
be, and on one of Pat Mecreedy's hundred-guinea 
leppers." He appeared to be convulsed with 
mirth at the bare thought that the hero of the 
Boyne should have been depicted mounted upon 
a cart horse. 

Some even amoncr our historians, however. 



OPPOSITION TO STAGE COACHES 237 

have averred that this horse is wrongly propor- 
tioned. Personally I incline to the belief that the 
animal is in every detail true to life, and not many 
years ago the late Viscount Powerscourt declared 
that he himself had seen used in parts of Holland 
horses that in every respect resembled this animal 
of King William's statue. 

Is it not likely, therefore, that William III. 
may have been in the habit of riding a Dutch 
horse, and that the sculptor copied this horse 
quite faithfully ? 

Certainly if the pictures of the period are to be 
trusted for accuracy, soon after the overthrow of 
James II. by William of Orange there were horses 
in plenty of almost exactly this type to be seen in 
England. Also the harness that was worn by 
many of the Dutch horses shown in the pictures 
resembled the harness that was in use among 
followers of William III., more especially the 
parts we mean to indicate when we speak of a 
horse's trappings. 

Even the bridles greatly resembled one another 
in some instances. 



Bearing directly upon the story of the horse 
in history are the descriptions that have been 
handed down to us of the almost frantic op- 
position that met the introduction of the stage 



238 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

coach soon after the middle of the seventeenth 
century. 

In some respects these descriptions recall vividly 
to mind the rabid antagonism some two centuries 
later to the introduction of the steam engine, not 
to speak of the objections that are still raised by 
a proportion of the community to the general 
adoption of automobilism. 

Prior to the introduction of the stag-e coach into 
England a four-wheeled carriage with a long, low 
body had been employed to convey the general 
public from one part of the country to another, 
and when the stage coach first arrived many 
of our wiseacres were quick to prophesy that the 
death-knell of the nation's greatness had in con- 
sequence been sounded ! 

Perhaps one of the stoutest of the opponents of 
reform in this respect was a certain Mr Cressett, 
of Charterhouse, who in the year 1662 openly and 
in very straightforward language affirmed that the 
adoption of the stage coach must "entirely ruin 
the country," and who in that year wTOte a vigor- 
ous tract, in which he explained entirely to his 
satisfaction — also, apparently, to the satisfac- 
tion of his partisans — that the amount of harm 
the introduction of road coaching must inevit- 
ably cause to the community at large would be 
enormous. 

His remarks, too voluminous to reprint iti ex- 
tenso, contain in one place the observation that 



MR CRESSETT'S THEORY 239 

" by this rapid mode of travelling " — at the period 
in which he wrote it took approximately three 
days to get from London to Dover, even in fine 
weather — " gentlemen will come to London 
upon the slightest pretext, which but for these 
abominable coaches they would not do but upon 
urgent necessity." 

Nor would the impending evil, in his opinion, 
end there, for, lashing himself gradually into a 
fury, he went on to maintain that "the gentle- 
men's wives " would come too, and that no 
sooner would they find themselves in London 
than they would "get fine clothes, go to plays 
and treats, and by these means get such a habit 
of idleness and love for pleasure that they would 
be uneasy ever after." 

Poor Mr Cressett ! 

Surely he must have been an ancestor, or at 
the least some early relative, of the notorious Mr 
Wightman who, just before the first London and 
Brighton railway was laid down, wrote a book 
in which he "proved" beyond refutation that no 
locomotive steam engine could by any possibility 
be propelled at a speed greater than about half the 
speed of the fastest of the coaches then on the road! 

We smile indulgently at all this now, yet, 
when all is said, have we changed so very greatly 
since those dark and peculiar ages — since the 
epoch that we now refer to so complacently 
as " the good old times " .'* {sic). 



240 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

The narratives of the remarkable experiences 
of many of the travellers in those early coaches 
would make up almost enough letterpress to fill 
a volume. For from the very outset the public 
stages became the unlawful prey of half the 
rascals with which a vast tract of the whole of 
England at that time teemed. Coaches were 
plundered almost daily, and while sometimes 
blood was spilt intentionally, often this happened 
rather by accident. 

Charles II., who used his influence to help on 
the development of the stage coach, appears at 
times to have become frankly impatient with the 
ultra-conservatism of the bulk of his nobility and 
of the aristocracy who strove hard to check the 
progress of the new form of locomotion. 

Whatever Charles's shortcomings may have 
been — and we know that he had many — he had 
enough of nous to be able to foresee the enor- 
mous advantages that would be derived from the 
general adoption of the public stage. 

Consequently he encouraged the importation 
of stallions and the breeding of animals of the 
stamp best adapted for coach work. 

Himself a finished whip, most likely, he desired 
that all his nobles should emulate his example by 
learning to drive well, though driving in those 
days was a form of amusement comparatively 
seldom indulged in by the well-to-do, who, as 
we are told, preferred being driven by postillions. 



CHARLES II. FAVOURS STAGE COACHES 241 

Before Prince Charles's proclamation, however, 
the ten years of the Commonweakh's sway had to 
intervene, during which time the horse's progress 
in this country suffered a set-back from the effects 
of which it did not immediately recover. 

The beginning of the horse's decline in public 
favour may be said to have dated from 4th Janu- 
ary 1651, on which day a report was drawn up 
— to be soon afterwards presented to Parliament 
— demanding that horse races, hunting, hawk- 
ing matches and football playing be at once 
suppressed, the plea in favour of this radical 
reform being that frequently political meetings 
were convened by enemies of the Commonwealth 
under the veil of race meetings and similar social 
gatherings. 



CHAPTER III 

The Commonwealth's " ordinance to prohibit horse racing " — 
Revival of racing under Charles II. — The King a finished horse- 
man — The figure of Britannia — The Royal Mares — Formation of 
the thoroughbred stud — Thomas Shadwell's cynical description of 
life at Newmarket — Spread of horse racing in Ireland — Jockeys at 
Newmarket entertained by Charles II. — Sir Robert Carr ; the 
Duke of Monmouth's connection with the Turf — Annual charge for 
horses of the royal household, ^16,640 — Ne\vmarket under the 
rdgime of the Merry Monarch ; the Duke of Buckingham 

^ I ""HOUGH it soon became evident that the 
Commonwealth was determined to oppose, 
tooth and nail, any step that might in the least 
tend to keep alive the interest in horse racing and 
horse breeding that for many years had grown up so 
steadily throughout almost the length and breadth 
of England, not until the 3rd July 1654 did the 
Government finally decide to introduce "an ordi- 
nance to prohibit horse racing." This ordinance 
was duly passed, and the result may well be 
imagined. 

For without further parley almost every race- 
course in England was closed, thousands of men 
of many different grades being thereby at once 
thrown out of employment. Owners of valuable 
thoroughbreds lost immense sums, for, practi- 
cally without warning, they found the order 

242 



QUALITIES OF THE BARB 243 

thrust upon them and so were obHged to sell 
their racincr stock for whatever sum it would 

o 

fetch in the open market. 

In this connection Cromwell, who himself had 
for many years owned race horses and been very 
fond of racing, suffered with the rest, though 
both he and his adherents are said to have de- 
clared that they willingly gave up their horses 
" for the good of the cause they had at heart." 

There can be no doubt that many valuable 
sires were imported into England about the time 
that Cromwell was practically in power, and one 
of them, "a south-eastern horse named White 
Turk," apparently was brought over by Crom- 
well's own stud groom. 

Several of the early records contain interesting 
descriptions of the sires that were imported at 
about this time. Mr William Cavendish, after- 
wards Duke of Newcastle, writing about the year 
1658, tells us that the Turkish horse of the period 
was a tall animal, " but of unequal shape," and 
that though "remarkably beautiful, very active, 
with plenty of bone and excellent wind," it rarely 
had a oood mouth. 

"The Barb," he writes elsewhere, "possesses 
a superb and high action, is an excellent trotter 
and galloper, and very active when in motion. 
Although generally not so strong as other breeds, 
when well chosen I do not know a more noble horse, 
and I have read strange tales of their courage." 



244 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

The Barbs came of course from Barbary, the 
best of them from Morocco, Fez, and the adjacent 
districts, and some from the interior of Tripoli. 
Even the first to be imported were said to be 
better shaped than any horses that had been seen 
before in this country, and to have, in addition, 
excellent action by nature. 

From what can be ascertained at this date, the 
pure Arabian steed seldom, if ever, stood higher 
than fourteen and a half hands, and rarely or 
never became a roarer. In all probability many 
even of the finest Arabian horses stood but four- 
teen hands high, while plenty must have been 
smaller still — say thirteen two or even thirteen 
one. 

This is worth remembering when we know that 
nearly every horse that has established a reputa- 
tion on the English Turf has been of Eastern 
descent. 

Probably the best of the Turkish horses were 
descended from the horses of Arabia and of 
Persia, though the former were for the most part 
taller, and generally "bigger built," besides being 
world renowned for their remarkable docility. 



At last the Commonwealth came to an end, 
and with the accession of Charles II. to the 
throne "the whole of England," to quote the 



REVIVAL OF HORSE RACING 245 

sentence of a contemporary chronicler, "seemed 
to open its lungs and breathe again." 

For during the ten years of the great Common- 
wealth the Turf had to all intents become extinct 
in Engrland. The racecourses were " overgrown 
and choked," some had been built upon, others 
had been converted into what purported to be 
pleasure grounds — "spaces for the recreation of 
the multitude," 

But apparently the multitude preferred the 
spaces as they had been in the time of Charles I., 
for no sooner did it become known that the more 
important of the race meetings that had been 
abandoned were about to be revived than "the 
people rejoiced greatly and gave vent to de- 
monstration." 

In a surprisingly short time race horses seemed 
to spring up out of nowhere, some in such good 
fettle, comparatively — when it is borne in mind 
that the race horse was supposed to have become 
practically extinct during the Commonwealth's 
regime — that, as one historian has it, the severity 
of the laws that had been passed for the sup- 
pression of horse racing, and indirectly of race 
horses, must clearly have been evaded in several 
parts of this country. 

Thus it comes that soon after the Restoration 
we read of races being run for silver bells and 
other prizes at Croydon, at Theobald's, at 
Chester and many other places that had been 



246 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

important racing centres before the Common- 
wealth. 

" Though race horses were few at the time 
of Charles II. 's accession," observes one writer, 
" and none had eaten bread for years " (about the 
middle of the seventeenth century race horses 
were trained largely on bread), "and these had 
languished in neglect, at the Restoration they 
emerged from their obscurity when the penal 
disabilities collapsed to which the Turf was sub- 
jected by the Puritans. 

"The revival of horse racinor was almost 
magrical in its effects. Thus we find the Turf rising 
like a Phoenix from its ashes on the accession of 
Charles II., to be thoroughly reinstated as our 
great national pastime during the Merry Mon- 
arch's reign. 

"To this resuscitation the king extended his 
powerful patronage and support. His love of 
the equine race is typified in the soubriquet by 
which he was popularly known, namely ' Old 
Rowley,' the name of his favourite hack. It is 
possible that among all our sovereigns, with the 
exception, perhaps, of Richard II., King Charles 
II. alone rode his horses first past the winning 
post. He was, indeed, a thorough English 
sportsman who could hold his own against all 
comers in the chases, on the racecourse and so 
on." 

The above description approximately sums up 



CHARLES II.'S HORSEMANSHIP 247 

the Merry Monarch so far as his fondness for 
horses and horse racing has to do with this history. 
Every inch a horseman, he appears to have 
been gifted with a singular aptitude for control- 
hng almost any animal he mounted, and to have 
developed in a high degree the instinct, or 
whatever it may be, that to-day we speak of as 
the power of judging pace in race riding. 

Endowed with nerve, also with physical courage 
in abundance, it is not surprising that the king 
should have been looked upon by many of his 
courtiers almost as a demigod when first he 
ascended the throne, and that the Duke of 
Newcastle, who had trained him to horseman- 
ship, should openly have expressed himself as 
immensely proud of his pupil and his pupil's skill. 

In the principal race at Chester the horses 
used to run five times round the Roody. It was 
upon a horse running in this race that Charles 
once staked and lost a small fortune. The meet- 
ings he most preferred, however, probably were 
those held periodically at Newmarket, where to 
this day the famous Rowley Mile recalls to 
memory the seventeenth-century's cheeriest 
monarch, a king to whom horse racing in this 
country still owes so much. 

It was, indeed. King Charles II. who almost 
entirely rebuilt the stand at Newmarket after the 
original one had been damaged beyond repair 
during the progress of the Civil War. It is said 



248 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

that the old race stand was besieged on at least 
three separate occasions during that long and 
bloody conflict. 

While a certain historic race meeting at New- 
market was in progress, Philip Rotier, the famous 
sculptor, availed himself of an unexpected oppor- 
tunity — an opportunity for which he had long- 
waited — to make a sketch of the beautiful Miss 
Stuart, who was destined to become in the year 
1667 the third wife of the third Duke of 
Richmond. 

Miss Stuart's name was at that time in every- 
body's mouth, the exquisite loveliness of her face 
being equalled, so it was said, only by the mould- 
ing of her figure and the irresistible fascination 
of her voice and manner. It was this unfinished 
portrait by Philip Rotier that was subsequently 
to develop into the figure that to-day we see 
upon every copper coin — the figure of Britannia 
with her trident. 

"So exact was the likeness," says Felton, in 
his notes on Waller, "that no one who had ever 
seen her Grace could mistake who had sat for 
Britannia." 

How rapidly the Turf must have sprung into 
life once more upon Charles II.'s accession to 
the throne of England may be gathered from the 
statement that within six years after the date of 
his coronation, " the glory of Newmarket had 
again eclipsed itself." Yet apparently the country's 



CHARLES II.'S HORSEMANSHIP 249 

prosperity did not directly benefit. The nobles 
and the wealthy classes seemed determined at 
any and every cost to warm both hands at the 
fire of life in the best and worst meaning- of that 
hackneyed phrase. In Pope's " Imitation of 
Horace," the statement is made quite bluntly : — 

" In days of ease, when now the weary sword 
Was sheathed, and luxury with Charles restored, 
In every taste of foreign courts improved. 
All, by the King's example, lived and loved. 
Then peers grew proud in horsemanship t'excell — 
Newmarket's glory rose, as Britain's fell." 

Wherever in the early histories and records 
mention is made of Charles's horsemanship, we 
find also some allusion to William Cavendish, 
afterwards to become Duke of Newcastle, and 
credit for Charles's skill is attributed in a great 
measure to him. 

Further we learn that at the age of ten " His 
Majesty's capacity was such that he would ride 
leaping horses, and such as would overthrow 
others, and manage them with the greatest skill 
and dexterity, to the admiration of all who beheld 
him." 

Indeed in this one respect he must at about 
that period of his life have resembled the great 
Alexander, for his determination and self-con- 
fidence when he was mounted on horseback were 
alike amazing. Upon more than one occasion he 



250 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

expressed himself ready to ride for a wager any- 
horse that might be brought to him, and, if need 
be, to ride it bareback. 

In his after life, as we know, this strength of 
will of his grew gradually into senseless obstinacy, 
yet he never lost his nerve for riding over a 
country, a fact the more remarkable when we 
reflect upon the sort of life he came to lead as 
he grew older. 

The descriptions we have of the race horses he 
bred are somewhat contradictory and must there- 
fore be received with caution. That he imported 
many fine mares from Barbary is certain, also it is 
certain that at regular intervals he sent abroad 
competent judges with instructions that they 
should secure for him, regardless of cost, the 
best animals obtainable. 

From among the best of these were selected 
the stud that came afterwards to be known as the 
Royal Mares, a designation they bear in the 
stud-book to this day. The dam of the famous 
Dodsworth — one of the earliest of all our 
thoroughbreds — was included in the royal stud, 
and its pedigree has been authenticated beyond 
dispute. 

Emphatically Charles II. did more to encourage 
horse racing than any other monarch after Henry 
VIII. had done, and by comparison he did much 
more than Henry VIII, by any possibility could 
have done, the very best racing in Henry's reign 



THOMAS SHAD WELL'S CYNICISM 251 

being quite inferior to the sport shown in the 
reign of the Merry Monarch. 

And by every means that lay in his power the 
Duke of Newcastle abetted Charles. The duke 
himself, soon after the Restoration, sank a con- 
siderable sum in the purchase of fresh racing 
stock to add to his stud, already a large one. 
And thus the foundation of the thoroughbred stud 
of modern times may be said to date practically 
from about the latter part of the seventeenth 
century. 

Thomas Shadwell, the famous playwright, who, 
born in 1642, lived for half-a-century, alludes in 
several of his dramatic works to " the great wave 
of passionate devotion to vices of various kinds " 
that seemed to roll gradually over the whole of 
England during the reign of Charles II., while 
special reference is made to the all-absorbing in- 
terest taken in the Turf while the Merry Monarch 
was on the throne. 

Speaking of Newmarket in particular, "there 
a man is never idle," he makes one of his char- 
acters cynically observe, " for we make visits to 
horses, and talk with grooms, riders and cock- 
keepers, and saunter in the Heath all the fore- 
noon. 

"Then we dine, and never talk a word but of 
dogs, cocks and horses. 

"Then we saunter into the Heath again, then 
to a cock-match, then to a play in a barn, then to 



252 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

supper, and never speak a word but of dogs, 
cocks and horses again. 

" Then to the Groom Porters, where you may 
play all night. Oh, 'tis a heavenly life ! We 
are never, never tired ! " 

Seeing what keen and thorough sportsmen the 
Irish are, as a body, one is rather surprised to 
learn that until towards the close of the seven- 
teenth century horse racing was almost unknown 
in Ireland. No sooner had it been introduced, 
however, than it began to develop with great 
rapidity, so that within a few years it spread into 
many parts of the island and we hear of race 
meeting^ after race meetingr bein^ organised. 

For horse racing seemed to suit the tempera- 
ment of the Irish people as no other form of 
sport had done. From the first the Irish 
must have devoted much time and attention to 
race horse breeding, and though their facilities 
for obtaining the services of the best stallions 
were fewer than the facilities afforded to the 
English breeders, they yet succeeded in rearing 
a number of useful animals, while plenty of 
their race meetings soon compared favourably 
with some of the best meetings that were held in 
England at about the same period. 

But few particulars are extant of the races in 
which King Charles himself rode, though several 
of the earlier writers inform us that he "carried 
all before him." In a despatch from Sir Robert 



CHARLES IT. ENTERTAINS JOCKEYS 253 

Carr, dated the 24th day of March 1675, 
we read that "Yesterday his majestie rode 
himself three heats and a course and won 
the Plate, all fower were hard and nere run, 
and I doe assure you the King wonn by good 
Horseman Ship." 

Descriptions are to be found elsewhere of a fox 
hunt in which the king took part. It took place 
some twenty miles from Newmarket. That was 
in 1680, and apparently no fox hunt in King 
Charles's reign had before been described in 
writing. 

Yet the king, though partial to hunting, was 
undoubtedly much fonder of racing. It was in 
this year — the year 1680 — that he entertained at 
Newmarket the vice-chancellor and the dons of 
the University of Cambridge, and, as well, all 
the jockeys who had ridden at the meeting. 

Whether vice - chancellor, dons and jockeys 
were all entertained by the king at the same 
time is not stated, though we are led to infer 
that they must have been. Charles, as students 
of history know, was cosmopolitan to the back- 
bone, and not ashamed of the fact. Ever a 
practical joker, he is known to have taken delight 
that was almost boyish in bringing together an 
assemblage of persons whose sentiments, views 
and tastes he knew to be in every way dissimilar. 

The companionship of jockeys appealed to him 
at all times, and the year after he had entertained 



254 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

those at Newmarket we find him at supper with 
the Duke of Albemarle, "and all the jockeys 
with them." During the progress of this meal 
Sir Robert Carr and the king arranged several 
matches in which their respective horses were to 
be ridden by the jockey each should nominate. 
That Sir Robert came badly out of the affair 
may be gathered from the statement that in a 
single day he lost between ^5000 and ^6000 
"and became greatly enraged" — a breach of 
etiquette that the king did not forget, and that 
he never forgave. 

A despatch from Lord Conway, dated the 5th 
April 1682, contains a descriptive account of a 
false start that took place in one of the races at 
Newmarket owing apparently to a curious blunder 
on the part of the starter. 

" Here hapned yesterday," Lord Conway 
writes, "a dispute upon the greatest point of 
Criticall learning that was ever known at New- 
Market, A Match between a Horse of Sir Rob : 
Car's, and a Gelding of Sir Rob : Geeres, for a 
mile and a halfe only, had engaged all the Court 
in many thousand pounds, much depending in 
so short a course to haue them start fairly. 

"Mr Griffin was appointed to start them. 
When he saw them equall he sayd Goe, and 
presently he cryed out Stay. One went off, and 
run through the Course and claims his money, 
the other never stird at all. 



THE DUKE OF MONMOUTH 255 

" Now possibly you may say that this was 
not a fayre starting, but the critics say after the 
word Goe was out of his mouth his commission 
was determined, and it was illegall for him to 
say Stay. I suppose there will be Volumes 
written upon this Subject ; 'tis all refered to 
his Majesty's Judgment, who hath not yet de- 
termined it." 

Another staunch supporter of horse racing 
in Charles II.'s reign was the ill-starred Duke 
of Monmouth, whose career on the English Turf 
ended abruptly when in 1682 he was practically 
sent abroad as an exile. 

Early in the following year, however, the idea 
occurred to Louis XIV. that as horse racing had 
become so popular in England he would like to 
make it the national pastime of France also. In 
order to foster public interest in the turf, there- 
fore, he began by offering a plate valued at 
1000 pistoles to be run for at Echere, near St 
Germain. 

The event attracted, as he had expected it would, 
much attention, not only throughout France, but 
in several other European countries as well, so 
that in the end some of the finest horses to be 
found anywhere in Europe were entered for the 
race. 

All went well until a short time before the date 
of the race, when a rumour spread mysteriously 
that a gelding owned by the Hon. Thomas 



256 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Wharton had been privately backed very heavily 
by a number of wealthy Englishmen. 

At first the report v^as generally disbelieved. 
Then suddenly it became known that the famous 
Duke of Monmouth was to ride the "dark" 
horse in the big race, and at once the owners of 
the foreign favourites became seriously alarmed. 

That they had good ground for their alarm 
was soon proved by the duke's steering the 
English horse to victory, apparently with great 
ease. 

Immediately, so we are told, Louis XIV. cried 
out in an access of enthusiasm that he must 
obtain possession of Wharton's horse at any cost. 
Upon Wharton's informing him that the horse 
was not for sale, Louis immediately offered to 
pay "the animal's weight in gold." Thereupon 
Wharton relented — though not in the way that 
Louis had expected him to : 

"I will not sell the horse," he said, "no, not 
even for its weight in gold. If, however, your 
Majesty will do me the honour to accept it as a 

gift — " 

But so generous a proposal Louis flatly declined 
to entertain, and eventually the horse did not 
change hands at all. For some weeks after- 
wards the principal topic of conversation through- 
out France and part of England was the great 
race. Indeed it is probable that this single race 
and the talk that followed it served to stimulate 




THE UL'KK or- SCIIONllKRi; ON A TVnCAl. CIIAKC.KK OK 1 HK M-n EM I- KNTII CI NTl RV 
.Ifltf ,t ^ain/iii!; /"v Sir lUht/n-y k'ltelUr 



ANNUAL CHARGE FOR ROYAL HORSES 257 

in France a zest for the sport that became far 
keener than even Louis XIV. had deemed would 
ever be possible. 

Among the more prominent of the race horse's 
progenitors in the seventeenth century were the 
Small Bay Arabian, imported by James L ; Bur- 
ton's Barb Mare ; the Helmsley or Buckingham 
Turk, owned by the Duke of Buckingham ; and 
of course Charles IL's Dodsworth, a well-shaped, 
natural Barb, though foaled in England about the 
year 1670. 

Mention has already been made of the Royal 
Mares, the majority of which were brought over 
from Tangiers about the year 1669. Towards 
the beginning of Charles IL's reign the annual 
charge for the horses of the king and queen 
and those of the officers of the royal household 
was fixed at ^16,640 — a sum subsequently de- 
nounced by the king's enemies as "extravagant 
beyond belief." 

That it was a considerable charge to make all 
must admit, yet it was not necessarily extravagant 
beyond measure. For in an age when outward 
ostentation imparted to the court a sort of cachet, 
an enormous stud of horses, and those the best 
obtainable, and in addition innumerable costly 
trappings, were in a sense necessities — the 
guarantee and stock-in-trade, so to speak, of a 
court anxious to gain the world's applause and 
approval, and indirectly the support of other 



258 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

powerful European nations should war break out, 
as in King Charles's reign it might well have 
done at almost any time. 

Indeed had Charles's court been indifferently 
horsed, and the king shown signs of reducing his 
personal expenditure — in other words, had the 
trumpets metaphorically been blown less blat- 
antly — other European powers would probably 
have looked up to England with less respect. 

Full well Charles must have known this, for 
in his way he was thoroughly versed in the art of 
what is sometimes called "international finessing." 
His Government knew it better still, with the 
result that the Government "played up to the 
king " on the lines adopted by the king in playing 
up to the Government — both knew that extrava- 
gance and display formed the note of the age, 
and both struck the note firmly with a foot on 
the loud pedal. 

And thus in the reign of the Merry Monarch 
did the practice that we now sometimes speak 
of as "bluffing" develop into a sort of art and 
come to be cultivated carefully. 

In the autumn of the seventeenth century 
Newmarket must truly have been one of the 
gayest places in England, at anyrate when race 
meetings were being held there, for it was not 
unusual for the entire court and cabinet to travel 
down from London on such occasions, when 
"jewellers and milliners, players and fiddlers, 



NEWMARKET UNDER CHARLES II. 259 

venal wits and venal beauties would follow in 
crowds. 

Upon such occasions the streets, we are told, 
were made impassable by coaches and six. "In 
the places of public resort peers flirted with 
maids of honour, while officers of the Life Guards, 
all plumes and gold lace, jostled professors in 
teachers' caps and black gowns, for from the 
neighbouring University of Cambridge there 
always came high functionaries with loyal ad- 
dresses, and the University would select her 
ablest theologians to preach before the sovereign 
and his splendid retinue." 

Whether those able theologians were valued 
at their true worth may be gathered from a 
further description in which we learn that during 
the wildest days of the Restoration " the most 
learned and eloquent divine might fail to draw 
a fashionable audience, particularly if Buckingham 
had announced his intention of holding forth, for 
sometimes his Grace would enliven the dullness 
of the Sunday morning by addressing to the 
bevy of fine gentlemen and fine ladies a ribald 
exhortation which he called a sermon." 

The court of King William, however, proved 
more decent, and then the Academic dignitaries 
were treated with marked respect. "Thus with 
lords and ladies from St James's and Soho, and 
with doctors from Trinity College and King's 
College, were mingled the provincial aristo 



26o THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

cracy, fox-hunting squires and their rosy-cheeked 
daughters, who had come in queer-looking family 
coaches drawn by cart horses from the remotest 
parishes of three or four counties to see their 
Sovereign. 

" The Heath was fringed by a wild, gipsy-like 
camp of vast extent. For the hope of being able 
to feed on the leavings of many sumptuous tables, 
and to pick up some of the guineas and crowns 
which the spendthrifts of London were throwing 
about, attracted thousands of peasants from a 
circle of many miles." 



CHAPTER IV 

Arrival of the Byerley Turk — Roman Catholics forbidden to own 
a horse worth over ^5 — Henry Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, on the 
manners of the age — King William II I. 's death due to a 
riding accident — The Duke of Cumberland's breeding establish- 
ment in Queen Anne's reign — Arrival of the Darley Arabian — The 
Godolphin Arabian — Royal Ascot inaugurated by Queen Anne — 
" Docking '' and " cropping " condemned by Queen Anne ; attempt 
to suppress these practices — The story of Eclipse — Some horses of 
romance — Copenhagen and Marengo 

'' I ''HOUGH James H. strove to emulate to 
some extent the example set by his light- 
hearted predecessor on England's throne, he 
failed almost from the outset to achieve popularity 
in any marked degree. More partial to hunting 
than to racing, during his brief reign he neverthe- 
less gave his support to the Turf and strove to 
encourage the breeding of blood stock. His 
interest in the chase, however, evaporated almost 
completely as he became more and more engrossed 
in the affairs of state. 

Whether or no James II. was a finished horse- 
man does not appear, but it may be there is a 
hidden significance in the statement to be found 
in several histories that he was " the only crowned 
head known to have had a surgeon to attend him 
in the hunting fi.eld." 
261 



262 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Nor is there evidence of his having ever 
attended a race meeting after his accession, with 
the exception of an important meeting held at 
Winchester in 1685. 

The stakes run for at about this time were 
of small value. Fifty sovereigns were deemed to 
be a prize well worth winning, while a purse of 
100 guineas attracted many spectators and large 
fields and gave rise to " heated and excited 
speculation as to the probable results of the 
contest." 

At some of the small meetings valuable horses 
would be entered to run for a paltry stake of thirty 
sovereigns, or even for five and twenty, and it 
was quite common for insignificant races of this 
kind to be "decided by vile persons." 

The weights carried in races run durinor the 
latter half of the seventeenth century were out of 
all proportion. Thus we read of horses carrying 
ten, twelve and thirteen stone in the final heats 
of short fiat races — in those days almost all 
races were run in heats. James II. does not 
appear to have owned any exceptionally famous 
horses, nor does the horse come prominently 
to the front during his brief reicrn of four 
years. 



Two events of national importance took place 



ARRIVAL OF THE BYERLEY TURK 263 

in 1689 • William and Mary ascended the throne 
of England, and the famous Byerley Turk, from 
which so many of our thoroughbred horses are 
descended, was brought over by his owner, 
Captain Byerley, who later was to serve in King 
William's army and fight for him in the battle of 
the Boyne. 

Some say that Captain Byerley had the Turk 
with him during that battle, but probably this was 
not so. 

From the standpoint from which w^e are passing 
the history of this country in review, the arrival 
of the Byerley Turk was an event of almost as 
great importance as William and Mary's acces- 
sion, for as the popularity of the Turf was still 
increasing year by year the importation of so 
valuable a stallion as the Byerley Turk in a 
sense served as a landmark. 

And certainly this horse proved to be one of the 
greatest of all the sires that were brought over in 
the seventeenth century. The king, a good judge 
of a horse, was much attracted by " Byerley's 
Treasure," as some soon came to call it, and it is 
known that the king himself owned at this time 
some of the finest thoroughbreds, probably, that 
had ever been foaled. That he ran horses of his 
own at Newmarket is beyond dispute, and the 
general impression amongst historical writers 
appears to be that he ran horses also at several 
other meetings. 



264 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

It was while attending a race meeting at New- 
market that the king commanded the unjust Act 
to be put into force which rendered it penal for a 
Roman Catholic to own a horse worth more than 
five pounds. Trustworthy historians tell us that 
most likely the king would not have acted so, 
but for the influence brought to bear upon him 
by his queen, who apparently was anxious to 
vent her spite upon at least one high-born 
Catholic by whom she had been affronted. 

The ultra- bigoted among the king's subjects 
rejoiced openly at the enforcement of the statute, 
but, whatever reason there may have been for so 
severe a measure, the storm of indig-nation aroused 
throughout the country caused the king consider- 
able uneasiness. 

As a natural result of the enforcement of the 
Act many Catholics presently substituted teams 
of oxen, and with these clumsy animals they 
would drive many miles to attend their church 
services on Sundays. 

How rapidly the Turf must have continued to 
acquire popularity during this reign is proved by 
the fact that ten years after the king and queen 
had ascended the throne — namely, in 1699 — more 
race meetings were held throughout the country 
than in any previous year in England's history, 
In this year, too, the King's Master of the Stud, 
Robert Marshall, brought over from Arabia 
fourteen valuable stallions at a cost of some 



HENRY HYDE, EARL OF CLARENDON 265 

£1 100, and these were sent direct to Newmarket, 
where the king was staying at the time. 



That the reports of the evil that is said 
necessarily to follov/ in the train of racing were 
in William's reign greatly exaggerated, as they 
are to-day, may be gathered from a description 
of the manners of the ag-e to be found in the 
diary and state letters of Henry Hyde, Earl of 
Clarendon. 

Hyde, who died at Cornbury, in Oxfordshire, 
in 1709, at the ripe age of seventy-one, tells us 
that towards the close of the seventeenth century 
" a man of the first quality made it his constant 
practice to go to church," and that he could spend 
the day in society with his family and friends 
"without shaking his arm at the gaming-table, 
associating with jockeys at Newmarket, or 
murdering time by a constant round of giddy 
dissipation, if not criminal indulgence." 

Other writers make statements practically to 
the same effect, so it is safe to infer that the fore- 
going description forms a true account of the 
style of living in the age when the Turf reached 
probably its zenith. There are, however, 
historians who would have us believe that at no 
period did horse racing flourish in this country 
without bringing with it, as though by natural 



i66 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

process, dissipation, debauchery and general 
degeneration. 

Indeed, as one writer exclaims in an access of 
unchecked emotion, "from the period when the 
noble animal became debased and prostituted in 
this country from the purposes for which he was 
intended by his Maker — the purposes of war and 
agriculture — he has gradually sunk, and those 
who have helped to debase him have at great 
length followed his example." Out of considera- 
tion for this writer's feelings — for it is to be hoped 
that by now he has recognised the error of his 
judgment — I refrain from mentioning his name. 

William met his death through a riding acci- 
dent. Mounted upon his favourite "pleasure 
horse," described as "a steed of mean stature, 
named Sorrel, which had a blind eye," the king, 
so it is said, for some reason lost his temper and 
struck his mount a violent blow upon the head 
with a heavy riding-stick. 

Instantly the animal bounded forward, and 
William, thrown suddenly off his balance, was 
unhorsed and fell heavily on his side. 

Personally I think the story more likely to be 
true is that Sorrel stumbled over a molehill, and, 
in trying to recov^er himself, fell on to his side. 
The king, thrown violently, received an internal 
injury from which he never recovered. Other 
stories of what took place have also been handed 
down to us. 



ARRIVAL OF THE DARLEY ARABIAN 267 



No less liberal a supporter of the Turf than 
William of Orange was Queen Anne, his suc- 
cessor. A modern tautological historian quaintly 
tells us that " Good Queen Anne had many- 
horses, and they were numerous and costly," a 
phrase reminiscent of the newspaper reporter's 
description of a bride's wedding gifts. 

That Anne should have loved horses and been 
an enthusiastic "turfite" is not to be wondered 
at when we bear in mind the sort of atmosphere 
in which she had been reared. 

The Duke of Cumberland's breedings establish- 
ment at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great 
Park — where later on Eclipse and the almost 
equally famous Herod were to be foaled — 
probably was the best known in England. 

According to Mr Theodore Andrea Cook, our 
modern authority upon the thoroughbred, its 
origin, and all that has to do with it, the finest 
breed of horse ever produced was the result of 
the cross between the pure Arab and the animal 
that was in England towards the end of the 
seventeenth century. 

The Darley Arabian, foaled about the month 
of March, 1702, and his line of distinguished 
successors, in reality started the long and baffling 
process which eventually ended in the production 



268 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

of the beautifully shaped animal we see in the 
modern thoroughbred. 

Probably less than fifteen hands, the Darley 
Arabian was a dark bay descended from the race 
the most esteemed among the Arabs. Captain 
Upton maintains that it was of the Ras-el-Fadawi 
breed, but the mass of the evidence obtainable 
points rather to its having been a pure Managni. 

Certainly the Darley Arabian is one of the 
most historically interesting horses that has ever 
been imported into this country. The property 
of John Brewster Darley, Esq., of Aldby Park, 
near York, it was bought at Aleppo by Brewster 
Darley's brother for comparatively a small sum, 
and sent to England about the year 1705, where 
subsequently it became the sire of Flying Childers 
and consequently the great-great-grandsire of 
Eclipse — three names that stand out in the history 
of the horse and his connection with the history 
of this country perhaps more prominently than 
any other three it would be possible to mention. 

Flying Childers, like his sire, was a bay, and Mr 
Leonard Childers, of Carr House, near Doncaster, 
who bred him in 17 15, soon afterwards sold him 
to the Duke of Devonshire. 

About fourteen and a half hands, Flying 
Childers is described as "a close-made horse, 
short-backed and compact, whose reach lay 
altogether in his limbs." 

Eclipse, as we shall see presently, was the 




- S 



THE GODOLPHIN ARABIAN 269 

reverse of this, for he had great length of waist 
and stood over much ground. 

According to trustworthy statistics, Flying 
Childers was the fastest horse that ever ran at 
Newmarket, while it is stated, on what appears to 
be good authority, that no faster horse has ever 
lived. 

With only Eastern blood in his veins — his dam, 
Betty Leedes, was a descendant of pure Eastern 
horses that had lived long in England — Flying 
Childers' career upon the Turf was truly phenome- 
nal. He died in 1741. 



Another historic sire of the early part of the 
eighteenth century was the Godolphin Arabian, 
called also the Godolphin Barb, foaled in 1724. 

His height was about fifteen hands, and his 
colour a dark brown. 

We are told that he was sent to Louis XIV. 
by the Emperor of Morocco, but it is known 
that when he died he belonged to the Earl 
of Godolphin. 

Whether the pedigrees of all modern thorough- 
breds can or cannot be traced back to the Byerley 
Turk, to the Darley Arabian, or to the Godolphin 
Arabian, is still a source of argument, and opinions 
upon the point probably are about equally divided. 

A romantic story attaches to the Godolphin 



270 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

Barb — to the last he was pronounced by Lord 
Godolphin to be an Arabian — inasmuch as he 
was at one period of his Hfe driven in a water 
cart in the streets of Paris, He died in 1753, 
and his remains He under the stable gateway at 
Gog Magog, near Cambridge. 



After the race meeting known as Royal Ascot 
had been inaugurated by Queen Anne, in 17 12, 
the tone of the Turf in England greatly improved. 
The rules of racing were revised, and more atten- 
tion was paid to their enforcement. Also steps 
were taken to prevent "undesirable and roguish 
persons" from "indulging in their wicked and 
thievish habits " — in short, a serious attempt was 
made to purify the Turf, as the process is termed 
now. 

To what extent this alleged purification proved 
effectual we are not told, but a number of persons 
who probably were considered "undesirable and 
roguish," were, about the year 17 18, ordered to 
"abstain from attending the meetings," a com- 
mand that most likely was the equivalent for 
being warned off the Turf, and apparently is the 
first actual allusion to warnino; off the Turf that 
is to be found mentioned in history. It has even 
been maintained that the inauguration of the 
Jockey Club, believed to have taken place in 



DOCKING & CROPPING CONDEMNED 271 

1750, was prompted by an urgent necessity for 
a body of responsible Turf administrators with 
power "to order thievish persons to keep 
away. " 

I believe it is not generally known, except 
among persons versed in Turf history, that prior 
to the inauguration of the Derby and the Oaks it 
was quite exceptional for three-year-old horses to 
be raced at all. Before that time the three-year- 
old was looked upon more or less in the same way 
that to-day we look upon the yearling. 

Indeed early in the eighteenth century but few 
horses were run when very young. In William 
and Mary's reign some of the most important 
races were won by six-year-olds, and we find 
allusion to a six-year-old plate that must have been 
run for at about this time. Nearly all the long 
races were still run in heats, and some of the 
horses entered were nine, ten, twelve and even 
more. 



The practice of cropping manes and docking 
tails was expressly condemned by Queen Anne, 
also by one of the Georges, probably George III. 
Berenger, in his " History and Art of Horse- 
manship," published in 1 77 1, observes that "the 
cruelty and absurdity of our notions and customs 
in 'cropping,' as it is called, the ears of our 



272 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

horses, 'docking' and 'nicking' their tails, is 
such that we every day fly in the face of reason, 
nature and humanity. 

" Nor is the existing race of men in this island 
alone to be charged with this folly, almost un- 
becoming the ignorance and cruelty of savages, 
but their forefathers several centuries ago were 
charged and reprehended by a public canon for 
this absurd and barbarous practice. 

" However, we need but look into the streets 
and roads to be convinced that their descendants 
have not degenerated from them, although his 
present Majesty in his wisdom and humanity has 
endeavoured to reclaim them by issuing an order 
that the horses which serve in his troops shall 
remain as nature designed them." 

Only a few years after the publication of the 
"History and Art of Horsemanship" a deter- 
mined attempt was made to suppress, once and 
for all time, the practices referred to. For a while 
public interest was greatly stirred, and it seemed 
as though the practices would at last be put an 
end to by direct leglislation, but eventually undue 
influence was brought to bear, and nothing was 
done. 

Indeed, as most of us must have noticed, the 
practice of docking the tails of nearly all horses 
except race horses is so prevalent at the present 
time that in many instances the jtails are cut 
to within a few inches of the root, while some 




5 j^ 



_ § 



THE STORY OF ECLIPSE 273 

of our ultra "fashionable " horse dealers pfo so far 
as to pluck out most of the hairs left on the 
stump. 

In the west of England the latter trick is 
indulged in more often than in the northern 
counties or the midlands. 



Of all the famous sires whose names stand out 
as household words in the annals of the horse in 
history, but few bear comparison with the world- 
renowned Eclipse. 

Bred, as already mentioned, by the Duke of 
Cumberland, he took his name from the coincid- 
ence that the great eclipse of 1764 was in progress 
at the very hour of his birth. 

There does not seem to have been anything 
particularly striking about the foal's appearance, 
and certainly none imagined for a moment that 
he would be likely to grow into one of the most 
famous horses, if not the most famous horse, the 
Turf has ever known. 

Until the age of five. Eclipse was not run in 
public, but from the time he won his first race, 
in May 1769, until his last appearance upon the 
Turf, in October 1770, he was never beaten, or 
near being beaten. The long list of his triumphs 
need not be given here, but Mr Theodore Cook 
reminds us in his exhaustive work upon this 
s 



274 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

horse that it was Dennis O'Kelly's son of EcHpse 
that won the second Derby, and that out of 127 
races, including the first, EcHpse's descendants 
had down to the year 1906 furnished no fewer 
than eighty-two winners. 

Eclipse himself was sold as a yearling for 
less than 100 o-uineas. Of his direct descend- 

o 

ants, a yearling filly was bought not very long 
ago for 10,000 guineas ; a race horse in training 
has fetched ^39,375 at public auction ; two sires 
have each produced stock that has won over half- 
a-million sterlinor • and other horses tracinor back 
to him in the direct male line have won the 
"Triple Crown" nine times out of ten and 
hold the record for the pace at which the Two- 
Thousand, the Derby and the Leger have been 
run. 

Upon one point all trustworthy authorities on 
thoroughbreds and their performances, also the 
principal historians of the Turf, and in addition 
the leading "turfites" of our own period, are in 
agreement, and that is that since the time of 
Flying Childers the Turf, the world over, has not 
known a horse faster than Eclipse was. 

This in itself is exceptional praise, but Eclipse 
was to add materially to his extraordinary re- 
putation, for while at stud he became the sire 
of 335 winners who between the year 1774 and 
the year 1796 won close upon ^160,000 in 
stakes alone, exclusive of cups and plates, and 



THE STORY OF ECLIPSE 275 

in addition his owner is known to have stated 
openly that he was paid for the horse's services 
as a stallion upwards of ^25,000. 

Referrinor ag^ain to the later descendants of 
Eclipse, we find that in the year 1894 they won 
between them over ^421,400 in stakes, the 
number of winners being 827, and the total 
number of races won, 1469. Indeed there prob- 
ably is not any other horse in the world, nor ever 
has been, that has been the prime cause of so 
much money changing hands. 

Perhaps what most attracted attention to 
Eclipse in his racing days was the apparent ease 
with which he won. His stride is said to have 
been phenomenal. Did he, during the whole of 
his career upon the Turf, ever fully extend himself? 
The question has many times been discussed by 
experts, and the consensus of opinion seems to 
point to the conclusion that he never did. 

For even after making his greatest efforts he 
did not seem to be distressed. The race-loving; 
public seemed almost to worship him at about the 
period he reached his zenith, and in the end it was 
to all intents impossible to back him. 

The interest the king was known to take in 
Eclipse was very great, yet probably George III. 
was at heart less interested in the sport of racing 
than any of his predecessors had been. 

Thackeray insinuates this in his immortal satire 
of " The Four Georges," and with truth it may 



1^6 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

be said that of all the great horses that have 
figured prominently either directly or indirectly 
in the history of this country, Flying Childers and 
Eclipse take precedence. 



Much that has been written on the subject of 
Queen Anne's alleged fondness for horses would 
seem to be based on doubtful knowledge. The 
more discriminating among our historians appear 
to think that too much importance has been 
attached to many of the statements. 

There are, I believe, letters extant from Queen 
Anne in which she talks at length upon the subject 
of the horses that belonged to her, but certain 
documents of the same sort are attributed to her 
which she probably did not write. 

The King of Denmark, upon one occasion 
made her a present of twelve mares carefully 
chosen by himself, but for the rest the majority 
of the stories told of Queen Anne should be 
accepted with reservation. 

Indeed from the middle of the eighteenth to 
the middle of the nineteenth century the horse 
again figured largely in romance, a fact that may 
in a measure account for the stories that have 
been put about of Queen Anne and her horses. 

Smollett is but one of the writers whose works 
are prolific of narratives of the kind, and some of 



SOME HORSES OF ROMANCE 277 

these stories from being repeated so frequently 
came at last to be believed by a mass of the 
people. 

Thus the tales of Sir Launcelot Graves' adven- 
tures, and of the acts that were attributed to 
Sir Launcelot's grotesque " mettlesome sorrel," 
Bronzomarte, were believed by some actually to 
be true. 

In point of fact this Sir Launcelot must have 
been a sort of Don Quixote who in the reign of 
George II. deemed it his mission to roam about 
England "redressing wrongs, discouraging moral 
evils not recognisable by law, degrading im- 
modesty, punishing ingratitude and reforming 
society generally." 

Fables were related too of Robert Burns' 
mare, Jenny Geddes, while the poets also took 
possession of the palfrey which belonged to 
Madame Chatelet of Circy — the lady with whom 
Voltaire lived for ten or more years — and wove 
around it, also round its mistress, many romantic 
but wholly fictitious narratives. 

Its name was Rossignol, and, according to one 
poet at least, Madame Chatelet fed the creature 
"on newly picked apricots, gave it milk to drink, 
and rode with a silken rein." Rossignol is men- 
tioned also in the history of Voltaire's life. 

The story of Dr Dove's steed that was called 
Nobbs has the seal of Southey upon it, which may 
account for the animal's having been dragged into 



278 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

so many romances. At best, however, it was a 
foolish beast. Dr Dove, it may be unnecessary 
to remind the reader, is the hero of Southey s 
"Doctor." The extent to which some of the 
famous stories of romance came in course of 
time to be woven into other stories is rather 
remarkable. 

Thus we find Dr Dove described in three 
different stories as three distinct and different 
individuals not one of whom is recognisable as 
the same person and the original, while the horse, 
Nobbs, is spoken of in one story as a bay, in 
another as a brown, in a third as a black. 

Is it possible that the authors of those stories 
can have read the original Southey ? And if 
history of such small importance, comparatively, 
is thus corrupted, can one place implicit belief in 
many of the serious historical narratives ? Rather 
one is tempted to believe the assertion of Pitt, 
"the boy Prime Minister," when he declared in 
all seriousness that "nothing is so uncertain as 
positive truth." 



Most historians make mention of the charger 
that carried Wellington so well at Waterloo ; yet 
the only statement with the impress of truth in 
this connection is that the horse died in 1S35, 
aged twenty-seven. It was Wellington's favourite 




NAI-OLKON AI WAGKAM 
Fiviii t)if /anions /minting by J'ertielnl I'frsoilUs 



COPENHAGEN AND MARENGO 279 

steed, and its name was Copenhagen. Of his 
other horses we read but little. 

Marengo, Napoleon's favourite mount, was, 
according to one historian, a pure white stallion ; 
according to another a cream-coloured gelding. 
In Vernet's famous picture of Napoleon crossing 
the Alps we are shown a snow-white horse, and 
Meissonnier shows us a snow-white horse too, so 
most likely this animal actually was quite white. 
The resting-place of Marengo's remains is the 
Museum of the United Services, in London. 

In an age when attempts are made to over- 
throw almost every established historical record, 
and when we are even informed quite gravely 
that Joan of Arc was not burnt at the stake at all, 
but that the victim was some other woman — a lady 
of rank, who out of compassion for the poor 
Pucelle was at the last moment prompted to sacri- 
fice herself in her place ! — it is not surprising that 
sceptics should exist who would have us believe 
that Napoleon's horse was not called Marengo. 

What is it, precisely, that prompts this section 
of modern searchers after " positive truth " to cast 
doubts upon so many of the minor historical in- 
cidents ? For, as a reviewer recently observed, 
it is hardly worth the while of any serious historian 
to waste time in refuting such misstatements. 

Sir Charles Napier owned a mare that he prized 
greatly. Its name was Molly, but it does not 
appear to have performed any exceptional feats 



28o THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

of prowess. Apparently the only point about it 
upon which our historians lay stress is that the 
animal lived to the age of five and thirty. As 
for Lord Nelson's connection with horses, so far 
as I have been able to ascertain it was limited to 
his superstitious belief that the possession of a 
horseshoe must bring him luck. At anyrate he 
always kept at least one horseshoe nailed to the 
mast of his ship, the Victory. 

The story of Siegfried's horse, Grane, is of 
course well known. In William Combe's quaint 
tale of the simple-minded, henpecked clergyman, 
Dr Syntax, we have a horse named Grizzle that 
was "all skin and bone." Written in eicrht- 
syllable verse, the narrative explains in rather 
an amusing way how the eccentric old scholar 
left home in search of the picturesque, and 
Grizzle figures largely in it from beginning to 
end, in much the same way that the ill-starred 
pony, Fiddleback, figures in Goldsmith's narra- 
tive. 



! H ' j' ; ,'<>,.*:< -';' " . ' ■ i .M ' .'l' V'>j*'W 




CHAPTER V 

A retrospective summary — The beginning of the end — Supersti- 
tion of the horseshoe — The Bedouins and their horses — Some classic 
thoroughbreds of modern times — Horses hypnotised — The Derby 
and the Oaks — Horse racing in MongoHa — Conclusion. 

V\7ITH the early years of our reigning sove- 
reign's period the long story of the horse's 
progress through history may be deemed to have 
come practically to an end. 

We have seen how the very early races of Asia, 
of Africa, and of Europe were enabled to spread 
their power, and were assisted in protecting them- 
selves aofainst the onslaua;hts of their numerous 
enemies, by possessing many horses upon which 
they could depend implicitly in the hour of 
strife. 

The Egyptians, Medes, Persians, Syrians, 
Scythians, Libyans, Carthaginians, Macedonians, 
Numidians — all owed their series of successes 
in a great measure to the fact that they owned 
horses when their antagonists either had none 
at all, or else only a few, and those of an 
indifferent stamp. 

Thus through the whole course of history the 
influence of the horse can be traced. 

Rome, until after the conquest of Gaul, was 



282 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

deemed a weak nation in some respects, and 
when we study the history of Rome at about 
that period we find the weakness to have been 
in a measure attributable to Rome's shortage of 
horses during the greater part of that long spell. 



Coming to what has been termed the Arabian 
period, history proves beyond all doubt that the 
spread of Islam was due partly to the Arabians 
having at about that time become possessors of 
many horses. 

Indeed had the Franks not owned a gfreat 
number of exceptionally fine horses by about 
the beginning of the sixth century a.d., who 
can say that the Saracens would not, after the 
year 732 a.d., have vanquished the larger portion 
of Western Europe ? 

Again, what chance of victory would the 
Normans have had at Hastings had Harold's 
forces been mounted on horseback ? For when 
we remember the valiant way that Harold and 
his men fought it is easy to believe that the 
Normans would have been completely routed 
had they too been fighting on foot and not on 
horseback, in which case the entire history of 
this country would very likely have been dif- 
ferent. 



RETROSPECTIVE SUMMARY 283 



In the Middle Ages we find the horse playing if 
possible a more important part in the making of 
history than it had done in the previous centuries, 
for what would have become of England's power, 
and her prestige, had she been deprived of those 
great war horses and the almost invulnerable men- 
at-arms who bestrode them ? 

England's might spread steadily while the 
strength and size of her horses went on increas- 
ing, and while the weight of the armour worn 
by horses and men grew gradually heavier and 
heavier. 

The limit in weight of armour would appear 
to have been reached when a horse became com- 
pelled to carry a man and armour that weighed 
together between thirty and three and thirty stone. 

It was soon after this limit had been arrived at 
that the era of the new and armourless cavalry- 
man mounted on a light and active horse set in 
unexpectedly. 

Coming to more recent years, what would 
Marlborough or any other of the great and 
successful military leaders have done had they 
been deprived of even a portion of their cavalry ? 

With the outbreak of the Boer War the wise- 
acres shook their heads, declaring that in such 
a country as South Africa the mounted soldier 



2 84 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

must prove useless; that the "punitive expedi- 
tion," as the campaign was termed when first war 
was declared, would be conducted almost solely 
by infantry ; while reasons innumerable were 
advanced to prove the " accuracy " of such wild 
forecasts. 

And now when we look back upon it all we 
see that the war would most likely still be dragging 
its way along had only infantry been employed. 



To-day it seems likely, indeed almost certain, 
that the horse's influence upon the world's pro- 
gress — influence that we have traced back into 
the dim ages — has actually come to a close. 

Evidence that this is so is observable on every 
side. The discovery of the strength of steam 
left the horse still in power, so to speak, for the 
locomotive engine drove only coach horses out 
of existence. 

The utility of the electrically driven motor, and 
of the motor driven by petrol power, has been 
proved to be almost ubiquitous, and the rapidity 
with which the motor has already ousted horses 
in almost every direction is little short of 
phenomenal. 

For the ultra-conservative little body of the 
community to maintain that this is not so be- 




> 2 

- "^1 



SUPERSTITION OF THE HORSESHOE 285 

cause it hates to speak or think of automobiles 
comes near to being grotesque. We are con- 
fronted by hard facts that cannot be avoided, and 
whether we Hke them or not they nevertheless 
must force us to realise what is happening. 

Shall I be charged with indulging a flight of 
imagination if I venture to declare that, before 
three decades more have passed, the horse will 
have become so completely dethroned that it will 
be with us only for racing purposes and to assist 
us in the artificial chase ? 

If about the year 2030 some student of past 
history shall come upon these lines I trust that 
he will quote them with appropriate comment. 



Horses famous in history other than that of 
the Turf occur but rarely in the records of the 
last century or so. Lord Cardigan had a chest- 
nut thoroughbred that carried him unscathed 
through the memorable Balaclava Charge, but 
there does not appear to be any story of interest 
attaching to the animal — it had two white stock- 
ings and its name was Ronald. 

I have tried to trace the origin of the super- 
stitious belief that the possession of a horseshoe 
must bring luck, but without any very satisfactory 
result. The superstition reached its height ap- 



286 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

parently towards the middle of the eighteenth 
century, or a Httle later, and by the middle of 
the nineteenth it was steadily dying out. 

A horseshoe nailed to a house door was in the 
first instance supposed to keep away witches, a 
belief which gradually developed into the sup- 
position that the possession of the shoe would 
in some way bring good fortune to the owner. 
According to several writers, most of the houses 
in the west end of London at one time had a horse- 
shoe on the threshold, and it is said that in the 
year 1813 no less than seventeen shoes nailed 
to doors were to be seen in Monmouth Street 
alone. 

Also it is asserted that as late as the year 1855 
seven horseshoes remained nailed to different 
doors in that street alone. 



In his interesting book, " Bedouin Tribes of 
the Euphrates," Mr Blunt has something to say 
upon the subject of the treatment of horses by the 
Bedouins. 

The Bedouin, it seems, as a rule does not use 
either bit or bridle, but controls his horse by 
means of a halter to which a thin chain is attached 
that passes round the nose. 

Apparently stirrups are unknown to the Bedouin, 
while in place of a saddle he uses a stout pad 



BEDOUINS AND THEIR HORSES 287 

made of cotton which he binds on to the horse's 
back with the help of a surcingle. 

Among the many interesting statements in 
this book is one to the effect that the Bedouin 
cannot ascertain a horse's age by examining the 
teeth, and that he has no knowledge of the trick 
so often resorted to by unprincipled European 
horse dealers of making false marks on teeth. 

Many Chinamen, on the other hand, claim to 
be able to tell a horse's age from its teeth up to 
the age of thirty-two. 

A point omitted by Mr Blunt is that the 
Bedouin being, so to speak, born a horseman, 
is unable to understand how any race of men 
can exist that cannot ride. Were we to be told 
that a race of men exist who have never learnt 
to walk we should be about as much surprised 
as the Bedouin is. 

Our leading authorities upon the history of the 
thorouohbred are unanimous in asserting" that 
until about a century and a half ago the thorough- 
bred was unknown in America. 

Yet among the famous descendants of the first 
thoroughbreds imported into the United States 
we find horses of world-wide renown, such 
animals, for instance, as Iroquois and Foxhall. 
These two horses are especially worthy of 
mention, inasmuch as they achieved success that 
came near to being phenomenal. 

How remarkable the development of the 



2 88 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

thoroughbred has been in our own country may be 
gathered from our knowledge that whereas the 
fee charge for the services of Herod at stud was 
but ten guineas, and for Touchstone only sixty 
guineas, to-day the fee for the use of a "fashion- 
able" stallion is frequently from 500 to 600 
guineas. 

The Committee of the House of Lords that 
met in the year 1873 ^^ discuss the question of 
horse breeding did much to encourage the rear- 
ing of the very best stock obtainable. The 
famous race horse, Common, by Isonomy out of 
Thistle, bred in 1888, made his first appearance 
as a three-year-old and won for Lord Arlington 
and Sir Frederick Johnson — his joint owners — 
the Two Thousand, the Derby and the Leger, a 
performance that at once places him in one of the 
most important niches of fame in the latter part 
of the last century. 

Another of the '"immortals" who won the 
three great races is Gladiateur, a name that 
recalls to mind a host of thoroughbreds whose 
fame will be handed down to posterity — Blue 
Gown, Blair Athol, Harkaway, Ormonde, St 
Gatien, Robert the Devil, Hermit, Persimmon, 
Flying Fox, Donovan — the names come tumbling 
into one's thoughts pell mell ; but as the triumphs 
of these and many other giants of the turf of 
comparatively modern times have been described 
in detail again and again in the many volumes 



MESMERISING HORSES 289 

devoted to the thoroughbred and his history, 
they need not be repeated here. 

Yet it is worthy of mention that though some 
few years ago the famous thoroughbred sires in 
this country included 260 direct descendants of 
EcHpse, and sixty direct descendants of the 
Byerley Turk, they included only thirty-six direct 
descendants of the greatly glorified Godolphin 
Arabian. 



I believe I am right in saying that the cream- 
white horses which, until comparatively a recent 
date, were used by the king on state occasions, 
are directly descended from the celebrated white 
horses formerly in the royal stables at Hanover. 

Allusion to these animals recalls to mind a 
method of controlling horses that is said to be in 
vogue still in parts of Austria, where it is spoken 
of as "the Balassiren " of horses, and that in 
reality is a method of mesmerising horses before 
shoeing them. 

According to Obersteimer, whose words are 
quoted in Hudson's "Psychic Phenomena," the 
process takes its name from a cavalry officer 
named Balassa, who was the first to introduce or 
to attempt it. 

Under the circumstances it is interesting to 
read that among the early Egyptians there were 



290 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

men who could, or who professed to be able to, 
obtain complete control over horses and other 
animals by the exercise solely of will power, and 
that such men were sometimes called in upon 
occasions when a horse had to be bound. 

It therefore seems possible that some at least 
of the horses sacrificed in the ages before Christ 
may first have been dazed, if not rendered un- 
conscious, with the aid of some such agency as 
hypnotism. 



Though the Derby and the Oaks were not in- 
augurated until the last quarter of the eighteenth 
century — when, as Lord Rosebery tells us, "a 
roystering party at a country house founded two 
races and named them gratefully after their host 
and his house " — horse racing has now for many 
years been popular in nearly every civilised 
country, while in some of the uncivilised countries 
it has long been included among the favourite 
pastimes of the people. 

Thus Mr C. W. Campbell, H.M. Consul at 
Wuchow before 1904, mentions in the report of 
a journey that he made through Mongolia that 
the Monorols are extremelv fond of racing^. He 
adds, however, that the practice of betting upon 
horse races was almost unknown there at the time 
he wrote, and goes on to say that in the Chahar 



HORSE RACING IN MONGOLIA 291 

country an ounce or two of silver — worth at 
most from two shillings to half-a-crown — was 
in some instances the only prize offered, though 
plenty of the races were run over a ten-mile 
course ! 

According to Mr Campbell, the Derby of 
Mongolia is held near Urga, under the direct 
patronage of the Bogdo. The course is thirty 
miles in length, and much of it rough steppe, and 
" the winners are presented to the Bogdo, who 
maintains them for the rest of their lives in 
honourable idleness." 

The jockeys are the smallest boys able to ride 
the distance. " A saddle or seat aid in any form 
is not allowed. The jockeys simply roll up their 
loose cotton trousers as high as they can, clutch 
the pony's ribs with their bare legs, and all carry 
long whips. The bridles — single snaffles with 
rawhide reins — have each a round disc of bur- 
nished silver attached to the headband." 



What will happen in the future when the horse 
shall have become practically extinct in the civi- 
lised countries ? The question is exercising the 
minds of many as these lines are being written. 
There are some who cling still to the belief that 
the horse's day is not over, indeed that it never 
will be over, but unfortunately they are vision- 



292 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

aries able to believe that which they so ardently 
wish. 

For as Mr W. Phillpotts Williams, the ener- 
getic founder of the Brood Mare Society, pointed 
out in June last (1908), the idea suggested recently 
of giving to farmers in this country a bonus for 
the possession of young horses suitable for 
artillery mounts would never have the effect of 
keeping horses in this country. All it would do, 
as he says, would be to collect the horses at the 
English tax-payers' expense for the foreigner to 
buy. The horses would be kept by the English 
farmer through the risky years of youth, only to 
be bought, when matured and fit, by the buyers 
for the foreign armies. 

Give a farmer ;i^5 a year. The foreigner has 
only to add ^5 to the horse's value, and away it 
will go. What is needed, as Mr Williams truly 
remarks — and none knows better the existing 
condition of affairs in this respect at the present 
time — is drastic action at the ports for horses 
bred under such a grant, while in any and every 
scheme that may be tried all the government- 
bred stock ought to be ear-marked and kept 
strictly in the country. 

One of the Belgian officers who visited England 
officially some months ago incidentally mentioned 
that the Belgian government has dealers in Ireland 
who are commissioned to send over to the Belgrian 
army a large supply of horses annually. " Practi- 



CONCLUSION 293 

cally all our army horses are Irish," he said. 
From this statement we may well assume that 
it would be possible to breed at a profit, in 
Ireland, a very large number of horses annually. 
Probably no country in the world is better suited 
than Ireland for horse breeding. Yet the shrink- 
age in the reserve of horses in Great Britain con- 
tinues practically unchecked, and, according to 
statistics, a month or two ago one of the largest 
of the omnibus companies in London was selling 
off its horses at the rate of a hundred or so a 
a week ! 

As a natural result of all this, the demand for 
oats has recently fallen by more than twenty per 
cent. The Board of Agriculture believes that the 
retention of colts is all that matters, while the Royal 
Commission, to judge from their annual report, 
apparently labour under the mistaken impression 
that the supply of thoroughbred sires must solve 
the difficulty of keeping up the supply of horses. 

Without in the least wishing to be pessimistic, 
therefore, one must look facts in the face, and, 
looking them in the face, one cannot do otherwise 
than admit regretfully enough that the long and 
glorious career of the horse in its direct and 
indirect bearing upon the development of the 
world and the progress of civilisation has at last 
come somewhat abruptly to a close. 



INDEX 



Aahmes I., 2 

Acheans, the, 15-17, 20, 72 

Achilles, 12, 15, 49, 99 

Acropolis of Mycense, the, 6 

Admiral Guarinos and " Tre- 
bizond," 93 

JEthe, 9 

Agamemnon's mare, 9 

Ailments of horses, 146, 213, 214, 
221 

Alcibiades, 25 

Alexander the Great, 54-61 

Aligero Clavileno, 133 

America, cruelty unknown in, 105 ; 
introduction of thoroughbreds in, 
287 

Arab horses, a royal gift, 76 ; 
arrival of Markham Arabian, 
203, 204; commencement of fame, 
77 ; dams, 100 ; in the sixth 
century, 82 ; size of, 244 ; stal- 
lions, 76, 203, 264 ; unimportant 
before time of Mahomet, 87 

Arabs, the, 48, 281 

Archangel Gabriel, the horse of 
the, 87 

Armenia, 31 

Armour, 44, 112, 134, 140, 225, 

234 
Ascot, 270 
Asia Minor, 14, 17 
Assyrians, 9, 19-20 
Athenians, the, 24, 46, 51 
Automobiles, 183, 238, 285 

Babylon, horses of, 4 
" Balassiren," the, 289 
Barb horses, 178, 183, 184, 230, 

243. 244 
Barbary horse, the, 181, 216 
Barrows in Scotland, 91 

295 



Bayard, the Chevalier, 134 ; his 
horsemanship, 135 ; mistaken for 
mythological horse " Bayard," 
136 ; his horse Carmen, 135 
Bayeux tapestry, the, 108, no 
Bedouins, the, 286, 287 
Belgian government, the, 293 
Belisarius, the white-faced horse 

of, 84 
Bells as race prizes, 177, 205, 208, 

245 

Bells of St Paul's melted down, 163 

Bevis of Southampton and " Arun- 
del," 194 

Bit, the, 18, 19, 201 ; discovered 
at Athens, 40; flexible, 18, 40; 
found in tombs, 91 ; not used by 
Bedouins, 286 ; of the Greeks, 
51 ; Xenophon's advice on, 45 

Black or "great" horse, 233 

Black Prince, the, 125 

" Black Saladin," 136 

" Blair Atholl," 288 

Bleeding horses, 221 

"Blue Gown," 288 

Boadicea, 76, 77 

Board of Agriculture, 293 

Bogdo of Mongolia, the, 291 

Books on horses and hunting, 124, 
139, 204, 206, 271 

Brazen steed of Cambuscan, the, 
132 

Breeds, improvement in, by Charles 
II., 242,250; by Cromwell, 243, 
244 ; by the Duke of Bucking- 
ham, 225 ; by the Duke of Cum- 
berland, 267 ; by the Duke of 
Newcastle, 227, 251 ; by Edward 
III., 125, 130; by Elizabeth, 
144, 153, 222; by Henry VIII., 
148, 167 ; by importation from 



296 



THE HORSE IN HISTORY 



Breeds — continued 

Italy, 180; by James I., 202, 
221; by James II., 261; by 
King John, 114: by Mahomet, 
87; by the Persians, 114; by 
William III., 263 ; Committee 
in the House of Lords on, 288 ; 
enforced by law, 149, 152; from 
1 660- 1 685, 196; in Athens, 51 ; 
in England, 108 ; in Ireland, 
252; in Middle Ages, 114; in 
the sixteenth century, 141 ; the 
seventeenth century, 257 ; Car- 
dinal Wolsey's interest in, 143 

Bridles, 51, 64, 135, 237, 286, 
291 

Bronze Age, the, 4, 6, 16, 17 

Bronze of Alexander, 61 

Bronze horse in British Museum, 
64 

Brood Mare Society, 292 

Bucephalus, 54, 61 

" Byerley Turk," the, 215, 263, 289 

Caligula's horse — a priest, 79 

Carey's ride, Sir Robert, 197, 19S 

" Carmen," 135 

Cart horses, 207, 236 

Cauldrons and tripods, li 

Cavalry, 16, 22, 23, 46, 199, 283, 
292 ; Assyrian, 9 ; British, 67, 
68 ; Cromwell's, 233, 234 ; de- 
scribed by Julius Cssar, 70, 71 ; 
first use of, 7 ; Greek, 9, 22 ; 
Hannibal's, 64, 65, 69 ; Henry 
II. 's. III; Iberian, 65; Per- 
sian, 114; Richard II. 's opinion 
of, 131; superseded chariots, 74 ; 
Theodosius', 81 ; twelfth century, 
112; William the Conqueror's, 
107, 109 

Celts, 23, 72 

Chargers, 109, iii, 120, 125, 131, 
160, 199, 207, 233, 278, 279 

Chariot races, with ^-Ethe, 9 ; at 
the thirty-third Olympiad, 16 ; 
at Delphi, 23 ; won by Alci- 
biades, 25; of Philip II., 27; 
won by Exxnetusof Agrigcntum, 
32; in first century A. D.,' 77 ; of 
the Romans, 172 



Charioteer," "A finished, 10 

Chariots, 3-21, 24, 65 ; Julius 
Caesar's description of, 70, 71 ; 
in Ireland, 115 ; of the Acheans, 
20 ; of the Ancient Britons, 20, 
68, 69 ; Assyrians, 20 ; Early 
Irish, 20 ; Egyptians, 3, 14, 20 ; 
Erichthonius, 5 ; Gauls, 20, 72 ; 
Greeks, 20 ; Hittites, 20 ; Lib- 
yans, 20 ; Persians, 20, 25 ; 
Romans, 72 ; Syria, 25 ; Thra- 
cians, 14, 15 ; Vedic Aryans, 
20 ; with scythes, 25, 26 

Charles I. institutes horse racing 
in Hyde Park, 224 ; interest in 
horses, 233 ; picture in National 
Gallery, 225 ; present of horses, 
225 ; price of horses, 229 ; race- 
courses in time of, 245 

Charles II. , a good whip, 240 ; 
encouraged horse-breeding, 240; 
encouraged use of stage coaches, 
240 ; horsemanship of, 227-229 ; 
love of horse-racing, 246, 259 ; 
restores horse racing, 245 

Charles V. of Germany, 161, 171 

Charles VIII. of France, 138, 139 

Chaucer, 130-132 

Chester Meeting, the, 208 ; Charles 

II. at, 247 ; rule for winning 
owner, 20S, 209 ; silver bells run 
for, 20S, 245 

Circus riding, 7, So, 184, 1S5 

Cobs, III, 205, 215 

Coins, horses represented on, 26, 

27> 65. 75, 103 
Colour, attention to, by Elizabeth, 

III, 175; by Henry II., Iii ; 
by John, iii, 112; by Richard 
III., 139; by Romans, 84; 
white and dun horses disliked 
for, work, 67 (see also " White 
horses") 

Colton, John, 127 

Commandeered horses, 119, 126 

" Common," 2SS 

Commonwealth abolishes horse 
racing, 241-243 ; sets back horse 
breeding, 241-243, 245; the 
race horse extinct under, 245 

Cortes' sixteen horses, 169 



INDEX 



297 



Coursers, 207 

Cream-white horses, the Royal, 289 
Cromwell, cavalry of, 233, 234 ; 
favours horse-breeding, 243, 
racehorses of, 243 
"Cropping," 271, 272 
Cross-country matches, 218 
Croton, 8. 22 
Crotonians, 8, 22 
Croydon Race Meeting, 210, 245 
Cruelty, cause of partiality among 
horses for certain human beings, 
129 ; of " cropping " and " dock- 
ing," 271, 272 ; unknown in 
America, 105 
Cuchulainn Saga, 74 
Cumberland, Duke of, 267 
Cyrene, 21 ; famous for steeds and 
chariots, 31 

" Darley Arabian," the, 267, 

268 
David Hume, 173 
Dead weight, 220 
Declining interest in horses, 182, 

183, 291, 292 
Delphi, chariot-race at, 23; museum 

at, 32 
Derby, the, 274, 288, 290; of 

Mongolia, 291 
Derby, Lord, il 
Diomed, King, 62 
"Docking," 42, 271, 272 
" Dodsworth," 250, 251 
Don Quixote, 133, 189- 191 
Doncaster Race Meeting, 175 
'* Donovan," 288 
Driving horses, 144 
Dun-coloured horses, 15, 17, 24, 

67, 95. 96, 137 

EcHEPOLUS of Sicylon, 9 

" Eclipse," 267, 268, 273-276, 289 

Edward I., 120 

Edward II. , 124 

Edward III., 124, 125 

Edward VI., 171 

Egyptians, 3, 19, 281, 289 

Elizabeth, Queen, iii, 144, 153; 
at Doncaster, 175; at New- 
market, 175 ; barbs, tiie special 



Elizabeth, Queen — continued 

property of, 178 ; fondness for 
the chase, 187; her stud, ill, 
144; interest in horses, ili, 153, 
206 ; love of the Turf, 153, 175 ; 
retinue when travelling, 193 ; 
value of horses in reign of, 178 

Emperor Justinian, the, 83 

Erichthonius, King, 4, 5 

Exeenetus, 32 

Exportation of horses forbidden, 

149. 150 
Eyes, 55, 139, 214 ; chma eye, 55 ; 
wall eye, 55, 214, 266 

Falkirk, battle of, 120 
Fenwick family, the, 231 
Ferdinand of Arragon, 158-159 
Fictitious horses, 163, 164, 178, 189, 

190, 194, 196, 276, 278, 280 
Fines paid in horses, 114 
Fitz Stephen, 113 
"Flying Childers," 268, 269, 274, 

275 
"Flying Fox," 288 
Food of horses, 54, 156, 178, 246 
Four-in-hand, 5, 7 
Foxhounds, first master of, 118 
Foxhunting, 118, 161, 162, 179, 

180, 253, 260 
Francisco Pizarro, 170 
Funeral of Frederic Casimir, 36 ; 

Li Hung Chang, 36 ; Scythian 

King, 35 ; Tartars, 36 
Future of the horse, 183, 284, 285, 

291 

Gambling, Aristophanes on, 52 ; 
by David Hume, 175 ; Elizabeth, 
176; Henry VIII., 162, 163; 
Wolsey, 144 ; denounced, 180, 
2X1, 212, 265; Marshal de 
Bassompierre's love for, 231 ; 
under Charles II., 254; James 
I., 205, 210-212 

Gauls, the, 20, 70, 72, 75 

Geldings, 207 

Gentleness of horses, 104 

George III., 271 

Girth, the, 63 

"Gladiateur," 288 



298 



THE HORSE IN HISTORY 



" Godolphin Arabian ," 269, 270, 289 

Gradasso and Alfana, 94 

"Great Horses," iii, 127, 141, 
206, 232, 237 

Greek soldier, 19, 28, 46 

Greeks, the, 21 ; esteemed horses 
highly, 29 ; had chariots with 
wheels, 20 ; harness of, 51 ; 
hogged manes patronised by, 48 ; 
horse breeding by, 14 ; horse- 
manship among, 7, 9, 16 ; 
horses of, 30, 102 ; horseshoes 
explained to, 73 ; race horses 
kept by, 49 ; taught to ride by 
the Libyans, 17 ; used horse- 
cloths, 19 

Haddingtom Race Meeting, 

the, 172 
Halters, 18, 286 
" Hands," 133, 227, 228 
"Harkaway," 288 
Hector, 10 

" Helmsley Turk," 225, 257 
Henry H., 110-113 
Henry IH., 119, 161 
Henry VH., 141-147 
Henry VHL, 148, 167,187,206,250 
Heraclios, 10 
"Hermit," 288 
Hiero H. of Syracuse, 31, 37 
Higher Criticism, 9 
Hittites, the, 6, 20 
Hogged manes, 42, 48, 271 
Hoof, the, 41, 47, 72, 214 
Hooper, Letter of Bishop, 171 
Horse-bread, 156, 179, 246 
Horse breakers, 41, 146 
Horse-cloths, 19, 38, 59, 72, 155 
Horse breeding north of the Tweed, 

152, 166 
Horse doctors, 40 ; ignorance of, 

213 ; veterinary surgeons, 221 ; 

Wolsey as a, 145, 146 
Horse fairs organised, 231-232 
Horse-fighting in Iceland, 95 ; in 

Siam, 95 ; picture of, 96 
Horse hoof, 44 
Horsemanship, 7, lO, 12, 16; 

Alexander the Great's, 57-58 ; 

Bayard's, 135 ; Charles H.'s, 



Horsemanship — continued 

226-227,246-257; Charles VHL 
ofFrance's, 139; clever riding of 
Elizabeth, 193 ; Duke of New- 
castle's, 227-228 ; early instruct- 
tion in, 134 ; feats in, 197; in- 
fluence of, 183 ; James L's 
opinion on, 206-207, 217 ; James 
II's, 261 ; John Selwyn's, 188 ; 
of Anglo - Saxons, 108 ; of 
Bedouins, 287 ; of Earl of 
Shrewsbury, 107 ; of the Gauls, 
70; of Irish, 166-167; Mary 
Queen of Scots', 192 ; of the 
Scotch, 167 ; Spaniards', 224 ; 
Swedes', 83 ; training in, 29, 32 ; 
Wolsey's, 141- 143 

Horse racing, at Chester, 208-209, 
245, 247; at Croydon, 210; at 
Newmarket, 124, 175, 205-209, 
217, 222-224, 247, 248, 254, 258, 
259, 263-265 ; at Salisljury, 177 ; 
at Smithfield, 113; at Win- 
chester, 262 ; attack on judge of, 
219; between Duke of Suffolk 
and the Seigneur Nicolle Dex, 
154-256; Charles H.'s love for, 
246-257 ; Commonwealth sup- 
presses, 241-242 ; denounced, 
1S0-181, 211, 212, 219, 241-243, 
265, 266 ; Philip of Macedon's 
devotion to, 27 ; excess of, 176, 
179 ; first allusion to wagers on, 
II ; first authentic record of, 75, 
76 ; first taught to the Romans, 
37 ; fixtures abandoned under 
Commonwealth, 219; Hengist 
and Horsa's interest in, 91 ; in 
Athens, 51 ; in France, 255, 256 ; 
in Holland, 226 ; in Hyde Park, 
224, 225 ; in Ireland, 252 ; in 
Scotland, 172-174; in fourteenth 
century, 133 ; in time of the 
Romans, 76, 172 ; in time of 
Wolsey, 144-145; inaugurated, 
16; James L's love for, 202; 
Mongols fond of, 290 ; on the 
ice, 211 ; popular pastime, 52, 
53, 210, 219, 251, 264, 290; 
Queen Anne's love for, 267 ; 
revival of, 246 ; ruins breeding 



INDEX 



299 



Horse racing — continued 

of "great horses," 232, 233; 
rules revised, 270 ; under Edward 
II., 124; under Elizabeth, 144; 
Henry III., 116, 117; Henry 
VIII., 154-160; Richard I., 
113; Richard II., 133; under 
William III., 263, 264 

Horse rearing, 52, 114, 125, 130, 
143, 144, 148-154, 165-166. 

Horses, ailments of, 146, 213-214, 
221 ; annual charge for Charles 
II. 's, 257 ; antiquity of, i ; at 
Crecy, 125, 126 ; average life of, 
53 ; bleeding of, 221 ; breeds, 
62 ; vicious and gentle, 104 ; 
commandeered by kings, 119, 
126 ; courage of 105, 106 ; 
cream white, 289 ; dapple, or 
dun-coloured, 15, 17, 24, 67, 95, 

96, 137, 138; declining interest 
in, 182, 183, 291-292 ; defects of, 
47 ; divination of the future 
attributed to, 78 ; English, the 
best, 230 ; exportation of, for- 
bidden, 149, 150, 152; eyes, 55, 
139, 214; flat-nosed, 24; flea- 
bitten, 50 ; food of, 54, 156, 178, 
179, 245, 246 ; fossilised remains 
of, 4, 51 ; "great horses," iii, 
127, 141, 2c^, 232-237 ; Hero- 
dotus on, 24, 31 ; Homer on, 7- 
18, 28, 122 ; Horace on, 72 ; ill- 
treatment of, 104-105, 129, 271, 
272 ; influence of on history, 96- 

97, 103, 104, 183, 281-284; in 
romance, 161-164, 178, 189, 
190, 194-196, 276-278, 280; in 
the sixth century, 82 ; Joan of 
Arc's, 137, 138, 279 ; likes and 
dislikes of, 129; "leeching," 
221 ; longevity of, 102 ; manage- 
ment and careof, 14, 215 ; Mary, 
Queen of Scots', 192 ; monu- 
ments erected to, 32, 61 ; mytho- 
logical, 10, 62, 94, 97-100, 136; 
naming, 157, 194; North- 
American Indians' terror at sight 
of, 171; of Abraham, i, 2; 
Acheans, 15-17 ; Agrigentum, 
32 ; Anatolia 196, 281 ; Anglo- 



Horses — continued 

Saxons, 88-90 ; Armenia, 31 
Athenians, 24 ; Babylon, 4 
Bedouins, 286-287 ; Britain, 17 
24 ; the Egyptians, 2, 3, 19, 281 
Erichthonius, 4, 5 ; Flanders 
141 ; France, 141 ; Friesland 
141 ; Gauls, 70, 72, 75 ; Germany 
141 ; Greece, 14, 15, 29, 30, 48 
49, 102 ; Hittites, 6 ; Ireland 
17. 74-75) 115. 252 ; Libyans, 4 
16, 17, 48, 54, 103, 104, 281 
Macedonians, 46, 281 ; Niseans 
31, 34; Numideans, 64, 281 
Parthians, 53, 66 ; Persians, 31 
33, 114-115,281; Romans, 70 
78, 80, 102. 282 ; Russians, 123 
Scandinavians, 95 ; Scythians 
34-36, 281 ; Sicilians, 27-28 
Solomon, 6 ; Spain, 53, 65, 66 
75, 168, 171 ; Swedes, 83 
Syria, 196, 281 ; Tartars, 123 
Thessaly, 21, 50, 54, 61, 62 
Thracians, 12, 14, 15 ; Trojans 
the, 4, 28; Turkish, 215, 243 
244 ; Philip II. 's love for, 27 
pictures of, 61-62, 137, 225, 279 
points of, 40, 41, 47, 50, 66, 68 
80, 140 ; prices of, 55, 125, 177 
178, 203, 214, 229, 235, 274 
represented on coins, 26-27, 65 
75, 103; on vase painting, 51 
on panels in Ireland, 115 
sacrificed, 33-36, 78, 97, 104 
scarcity of at Crecy, 125 ; among 
the Romans, 282 ; Shakespeare's 
181, 182 ; shire horses, 140, 144 
Spanish Armada, 222; "starling 
coloured," 53 ; starvation of, 146 
147; stolen, 214; strength of 
105, III, 112; superstitions 
about, 78, 79, 121, 123, 213 
three-years-olds, 271, 288 
trained to music, 8 ; transported 
to Cuba and Hispaniola, 169 
unshod, 24 ; war horses, 104 
109-111, 131, 136-138, 199,200, 
283, 292 ; wealth expressed by 
number of, 81 ; with white star, 
17.54. 

Horse thieves, 120 



300 



THE HORSE IN HISTORY 



Hunters, 183, 207 

Hunting 118, 161, 162, 179, 180, 

187, 192, 218, 241, 253, 261 
Huntingdon, race at, 220 
Hyde Park Meeting, 224 
" Hyksos, The" 2 
Hypanis, the (River Bug), 21 
Hyperenor, 12 
Hypnotism of horses, 289-290 

ICENI, the, 75, 117 

Ill-treatment of horses, lOO, 105, 

129, 271, 272 
India, 36 
Influence of the horse on history, 

96, 97, 103, 104, 183, 281-284 
Ireland, 17, 18, 74, 75, 115, 116, 252 
Iron Age, the, 15, 17, 19, 22 
Iron Horseman," "An, 227 
" Isokelismos," 30 

James I., at Lincoln, 219; encour- 
aged gambling, 210; improve- 
ment of horses under, 203 ; liked 
tall horses, 215 ; love of racing, 
202, 209, 210; made Newmarket 
" a royal village," 205 ; present 
of horses from Naples, 207 ; 
Royal studs of, 207 ; trained his 
horses, 220 ; wrote on horses, 220 

James II., as a sportsman, 261 ; at 
Winchester races, 262 

Joan of Arc, 137, 138, 279 

Job, the steed of, 5 

Jockey Club, the, 174, 270 

Jockeys, 113, 209, 220, 253-254, 
265, 291 

John Selwyn, 187, 189 

Julius Caesar describes battle, 70, 71 ; 
horses in time of, 105 ; reference 
to the Iceni, 75 

•' Kantake," 21 

King Arthur, 82 

King John, in, 113 

King's Master of the Stud, 264 

" Lamri," 82 

Law commandeering horses for 
kings, 119; forbidding exporta- 
tion of horses, 149-154; forbidding 



Law commandeering — continued 
Roman Catholics to keep valu- 
able horses, 264 ; maintenance of 
horses, 1 51- 154 

" Leger," the, 288 

Libya, 16 

Libyans, the, 4, 7, 17, 20, 21, 29 

Lincoln Race Meeting, 219 

Lord Arundel (1377), I33 

Lord Cardigan's " Ronald," 285 

Lord Herbert, 179, 180 

Louis XIV. arranges races at St 
Germains, 255, 256 

Love for horses, Adhils', 83 ; Alex- 
ander the Great's, 59 ; Anne's, 
267, 276 ; Boadicea's, 77 ; 
Charles II. 's, 246-257; Eliza- 
beth's, 187; Gradasso's, 94; 
Henry VIII. 's, 165; Mahomet's, 
88; Mary Queen of Scots', 189; 
of the ancients, 97 ; Richard II.'s 
128 ; Roderick's, 93 ; William 
the Conqueror's, 108 ; Xeno- 
phon's, 38, 48 

Macedonian soldier, 19 

Macedonians, the, 46 

Mahomet, encourages horse breed- 
ing, 86 ; goes to heaven on 
Alborak, 89 ; the mule of, 87 

Marathon, 46 

Mares' milk as food, 37 

Mares, the Royal, 250, 257 

♦' Marocco," 184, 185 

Marquis of Mantua, 157 

Mary, Queen of Scots, good horse- 
woman, 192; her horses, 192; 
love of horses, 191 

Mary II., 153 

Maximilian, the Emperor, 141, 142 

Menelaus, 10 

Menesthus, 10 

Mesmerising horses, 289, 290 

Mexico, 169, 170 

Monmouth, the Duke of, 255-257 

" Morocco Barb,"' 225 

Mounting, 43, 59, 64, 66 

Mounting block, 64 

Mycenx, the, 6 

Mvcenean Greeks, 20 ; period, 6, 
19 



INDEX 



301 



Mythological horses, 10, 62, 94, 
97-100, 136 

Naming horses, 157, 194 

Napier's " Molly," Sir Charles, 279 

Napoleon I.'s horses, 200; " Mar- 
engo," 279 

Neolithic Period, 4 

Netherby races, 76 

Newcastle, the Duke of, 226-228, 
235, M7, 249, 257 

Newmarket, 144; at end of seven- 
teenth century, 258, 259 ; Charles 
II. 's favourite meeting, 247, 248 ; 
described by Shadwell, 251, 252 ; 
early history of, 222 ; Edward 
II. stops a tournament at, 124 ; 
Elizabeth at, 175 ; famous flat 
race arranged at, 220 ; first im- 
portant races at, 223 ; fox hunt 
near, 253 ; historic race meeting 
at, 248; horses of, 117, 118; 
Iceni at, the, 75 ; incident at, 
254 ; James I. present at, 206, 
209, 217 ; Marocco, foaled at, 
184 ; rebuilding of race stand at, 
247 ; Spanish Armada horses at, 
222, 223 ; the royal village, 205 ; 
under William III., 263-265 

Newspaper account of races, the 
first, 224 

Normans, 20 

Northern America, no horses in, 
168 

Nose bands, 18, 286 

Numidians, the, 64, 281 

Oaks, the, 290 
O'Byrnes, the, 127, 128 
Oliver Cromwell, 233, 234 
Olympic games, the, 25, 27, 31, 

32, 37 
O'Moores, the, 127, 128; 
Opposition to coaches and railways, 

237, 238 
"Ormonde," 288 
Oxen used by Roman Catholics, 264 

Pale, the, 127 

Parthenon frieze, the, 29, 30, 39, 64 

Patroclus, 12 



Pausanias, 44 

Pedigree through dams, 100, loi 

Pegasus, 16, 98 

Peloponnesian War, 24 

Persia, 36, 37, 43 

Persians, the, 20, 31, 33, 36, 46 

Persimmon, 288 

Phallas, 10 

Phrenicus, 37 

Pictures of horses, 61, 62, 137, 225, 

279 
Pictures of races, 220 
Plinth of North Cross, Ireland, 115 
Points of horses, 40, 41, 47, 50, 66, 

68, 80, 140 
Priam, 10 
Prices of horses, 55, 125, 177, 178, 

203, 214, 229, 235, 274 
Prizes, 11, in, 205, 208, 245, 254, 

255, 262, 275, 291 
Pylian breed, the, 10 

Queen Anne, a "turfite," 267; 

condemned tail-docking, 271 ; 

founded Ascot, 270 ; love of 

horses, 265, 276 ; revived racing 

rules, 270 
Queen Elizabeth, III, 114, 153, 

175, 178, 187, 193, 206 

Racecourses as pleasure grounds, 

245 

Race horses, 33, 49, 160, 199 ; ages 
of, 271 ; development of, 173, 
202-205, 289; Elizabeth's interest 
in, 144; Edward III.'s interest 
in, 124 ; fondness of the Greeks 
for, 53 ; from Spanish Armada, 
222, 223 ; James I.'s love for, 
205, 206, 208 ; naming, 157 ; 
nineteenth century, 288 ; present 
to King Athelstan of, 91 ; present 
to Edward III., 125 ; present to 
Henry VIII., 158; reinstated 
by Charles II., 245 ; Richard 
I.'s, 113; Richard II. 's, 129; 
sold at a loss, 242 ; tails of, 272 ; 
training of, 156 

Rameses, 2 

Rarey, 12 

Richard I., Ill, 113 



302 



THE HORSE IN HISTORY 



Richard II., 128-130, 246 
Richard III., 138, 139 
Riding bareback, 29, 38, 59 
Riding masters, 41 
Riding matches, 154, 176, 218, 220 
" Roan Barbary," 128, 129 
" Robert the Devil," 288 
Roderick and " Orelia," 93 
Roger de Bellesne, Earl of Shrews- 
bury, 107 
Roguery on the Turf, 174, 175 
Roland and " Veillantiff," 92, 93 
"Rowley, Old," 246; Rowley 

Mile, 247 
Royal Ascot, 270 
Royal cream-white horses, 289 
Royal Mares, the, 250, 257 
Royal Stud, 148, 149, 207, 216 
Russia, 123 

Saddle-cloths, 59, 63, 82, 155 
Saddles, 59 ; among early Greeks, 

38 ; among the Romans, 63, 81 ; 

in Ireland, no; in races, 155; 

of the Mongols, 291 ; of the 

Normans, no; scorned, 40, 64; 

used by Angles, 88, 89 
" Saga of Burnt-Njal," the, 95 
"St Gatien," 288 
St George's Cup, 208 
Salisbury, race gathering at, 177 
Sarmatian, 44 
"Savoy," of Charles VIII. of 

France, 138, 139 
Scandinavian barrows, 91 
Scandinavians, the, 95 
Scythians, the, 34, 36, 28 1 
Seius' horse, 27 
Severus Alexander, 75 
Shakespeare's horses, 181-183 
"Shibdiz," 82 
Shields, 20, 115 
Shire horses, 140, 144 
Shoes, ancient objection to, 42 ; 

found in tomb of Childeric, 42, 

83 ; in lieu of rent, 119 ; leather 

caps used by Romans as, 73 ; 

made of reeds, 42 ; regularly 

used, 83 ; silver and gold, "j^ ; 

sixteenth - century, 146, 155; 

superstitions about, 2S0, 2S6 



Shortage of horses, 125, 282 

Sicilian coinage, 27 

Sicilians, 31, 36 

Sicily, 22 

Sigynnse, the, 15, 24 

Simo, 38, 50 

Simon de Montfort, 118 

Sir Eustace de Hecche, 120 

Smerdis, death of, 37 

Solomon, 6 

Spanish Armada survivors, 222 

Spartans, the, 25 

" Spumador," 82 

Spurs, in time of Henry II., 113; 
Irish, no; John Selwyn's, 188; 
of " Blanche Rose," 155 ; of the 
Greeks, 57 ; of the Wife of Bath, 
131 ; of the Romans, 65 

Stage coaches, 238-240 

Stakes, at Newmarket, 254 ; in 
Mongolia, 291 ; Louis XIV. 's 
Plate, 255 ; St George's Cup, 
208; silver bells as, 177, 205- 
208, 245 ; snatfle as, 177 ; under 
James II., 262 ; won by de- 
scendants of Eclipse, 291 ; won 
by Seigneur Nicolle Dex, 154, 
156 

Stallions, adapted for coach use, 
240 ; Arabian, 76, 203, 204, 264, 
267-270, 289 ; celebrated seven- 
teenth-century, 257 ; celebrated 
eighteenth-century, 267-270, 273- 
276 ; colour of, ill ; Dutch pur- 
chase racing, 226 ; Eastern breed 
of, 114 ; fed on eggs and oysters, 
178; importation of, 76, 114, 
116, 148, 203, 204, 207, 212, 
226, 264 ; law against exporta- 
tion of, 166 ; shire, 144 ; 
Spanish, 107,227, 230; thorough- 
bred, 288 

Staying power, 105, ni 

Stirrup leathers, 22S 

Stirrups, 40; in Ireland, no; 
regularly used, 88 ; standing in, 
220 ; unknown to Bedouins, 287 

Stud, 274, 28S ; Charles II. 's, 250, 
257 ; Cromwell's. 243 ; Cumber- 
land Lodge, 267 ; Duke of 
Newcastle's, 251 ; Edward III. *s, 



INDEX 



303 



Stud — continued 

125; Elizabeth's, 144; estab- 
lished by William the Conqueror, 
1 14 ; King's Master of the, 264 ; 
Marquis of Mantua's, 157 ; 
modern farms, 116; Royal stud, 
148, 149, 207, 216 ; Wolsey's, 
144 

" Sumpter horses," 193 

Superstitions, 78, 79, I2I, 123, 
213-215 

Superstitions about horseshoes, 280, 
286 

TaRENTUM, 22 

Tartars, the, 36, 123 

Theobald's, race meeting at, 245 

Thessalians, the, 21 

Thessaly, 50, 54, 61, 62 

Thetford Race Meeting suppressed, 
219 

Thomas a Becket, 113 

Thoroughbreds, 114, 197, 199, 230, 
251, 274, 275, 288, 293; de- 
velopment of, 288 ; Dodsworth 
included in royal stud, 250 ; 
English, introduced into France, 
231 ; fed on eggs and oysters, 
78 ; in Richard II. 's reign, 130 ; 
introduced into America, 2S7 ; 
management of, 215 ; Mr T. A. 
Cook on, 267 ; nineteenth cen- 
tury, 288 ; of William III., 263 ; 
sold at a loss, 242 

Thracian horses, 14 

Thracians, the, 12, 14, 122 

Three -year-olds, 271, 288 

Thurii, 37 

Trainers, 156, 220, 221, 230 

Trappings, 13, 14, 34, 159, 237, 
257 

Trickery in racing, 174, 176, 205, 
209, 270 

Tripods, 1 1 

Trojans, the, 4, 28 

Troy, 28, 29 

Tryers and gentlemen tryers, 177, 
218, 220 

Turf, the, 145, 157, 173-176, 205, 
231, 245, 251, 25s, 261, 264, 265, 
273-275, 288 



Turkish horses, 215, 243, 244 
Two Thousand, the, 288 

Valerian, the Emperor, 43 
Varni, the, 89 
Vedic Aryans, the, 20 
Veneti, the, 36, loi 
Verus, the Emperor, 80 
Veterinary surgeons, 221 
Vicious breeds, 104 
" Villiers Arabs," 204 

Wagers, at Newmarket, 205 ; be- 
tween Charles II. and Sir Robert 
Carr, 254 ; by David Hume, 
174 ; first allusion to, II ; in 
reign of Henry II., 113 ; in reign 
of Henry III., 116, 117 ; on flat 
racing, 218, on Lord Hadding- 
ton's race, 220 

" Warned off the Turf," 174, 270 

Washing horses' legs, 45 

Wealth expressed by number of 
horses, 81 

Weights, 262 

W^ellington's "Copenhagen," 278, 
279 

Wheels of chariots, 20 

White animals sacred, 33, 36 

White hoof, a, 214 

White horse, the, 21, 31, 32; 
banner of, 69, 91, 92 ; beloved 
of the gods, 33, 122 ; criminal 
act to wound a, 123 ; divination 
by sacred, 79 ; Joan of Arc's, 
'^yi^ 138 ; Mahomet's Alborak, 
89 ; Napoleon's, 279 ; not liked 
for work, 67 ; of Chinghas 
Khan, 121-123 ; of the Scandi- 
navians, 95 ; of Selene, 98, 99 ; 
sacrificed, 33, 36, 50, 78, 123; 
superstitions about, 123; stud 
of Richard III., 139; "White 
Surrey" of Richard III., 139; 
"White Turk," of Cromwell, 
279 

William the Conqueror, 97, 103, 
108-110, 114 

William III., Acts against Roman 
Catholics possessing horses, 264 ; 



304 THE HORSE IN HISTORY 

William III. — continued Wolsey, Cardinal, 141-145 

for development of horses, 153 ; Wooden Horse of Troy, the, 28 
court of, 259 ; interest in horses, 

263-266 ; statue in Dublin, 236, Xenophon's advice to riders, 44, 

237 45 ; early life of, 45 ; kindness 

William Stephanides, iio to horses, 38, 49 ; rules, 39, 40 

Winchester Meeting, the, 262 Xerxes, procession of, 34, 50 

Windsor Great Park, 267 

Windsor, stud at, 125 Zeus, car of, 34 



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34 



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Fiction 



35 



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A BRANDED NAME. 



AT A WINTER'S 



THE BAPTIST 



I J. net. 
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FIRE. 
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Embree (C. F.). A HEART OF FLAME. 

Illustrated. 
Fenn (0. ManvlUe). AN ELECTRIC 

SPARK. 
A DOUBLE KNOT. 



38 



Messrs. Methuen's Catalogue 



Flndlater (Jane H.). A DAUGHTER OF 

STRIFE. 
Fitzstephen (Q.). MORE KIN THAN 

KIND. 
Fletcher (J. S.). DAVID MARCH. 
LUCIAN THE DREAMER. 
Forrest (R. E.). THE SWORD OF 

AZRAEL. 
Francis (M. E.). MISS ERIN. 
Gallon (Tom). RICKERBY'S FOLLY. 
Gerard (Dorothea). THINGS THAT 

HAVE HAPPENED. 
THE CONQUEST OF LONDON. 
THE SUPREME CRIME. 
Gilchrist (R. Murray). WILLOWBRAKE. 
Glanville (Ernest). THE DESPATCH 

RIDER. 
THE KLOOF BRIDE. 
THE INCA'S TREASURE. 
Gordon (Julien). MRS. CLYDE. 
WORLD'S PEOPLE. 
Goss (C. F.). THE REDEMPTION OF 

DAVID CORSON. 
Gray (E. M 'Queen). MY STEWARD- 
SHIP. 
Hales (A. G.). JAIR THE APOSTATE. 
Hamilton (Lord Ernest). MARY HAMIL- 
TON. 
Harrison (Mrs. Burton). A PRINCESS 

OF THE HILLS. Illustrated. 
Hooper (I.). THE SINGER OF MARLY. 
Hough (Emerson). THE MISSISSIPPI 

BUBBLE. 
•Iota* (Mrs. Caffyn). ANNE MAULE- 

VERER. 
Jepson (Edgar). THE KEEPERS OF 

THE PEOPLE. 
Keary (C. F.). THE JOURNALIST. 
Kelly (Florence Finch). WITH HOOPS 

OF STEEL. 
Langbridge (V.) and Bourne (C. H.). 

THE VALLEY OF INHERITANCE. 
Linden (Annie). A WOMAN OF SENTI- 
MENT. 
Lorlmer (Norma). JOSIAHS WIFE. 
Lush (Charles K.). THE AUTOCRATS. 
Macdonell (Anne). THE STORY OF 

TERES.\. 
Macgrath (Harold). THE PUPPET 

CROWN. 
Mackie (Pauline Bradford). THE VOICE 

IN THE DESERT. 
Marsh (Richard). THE SEEN AND 

THE UNSEEN. 
GARNERED. 
A METAMORPHOSIS. 
MARVELS AND MYSTERIES. 
BOTH SIDES OF THE VEIL. 
MayalKJ. W.). THE CYNIC AND THE 

SYREN. 
Meade (L. T.). RESURGAM. 
Monkhouse (Allan). LOVE IN A LIFE. 
Moore (Arthur). THE KNIGHT PUNC- 
TILIOUS. 



Nesbit, E. (Mrs.' Bland). THE LITER- 
ARY SENSE, 

Norrl8(W. E.). AN OCTAVE. 

MATTHEW AUSTIN. 

THE DESPOTIC LADY. 

OHphant(Mrs.). THE LADY'S WALK. 

SIR ROBERT'S FORTUNE. 

THE TWO MARY'S. 

Rendered (M. L.). AN ENGLISHMAN. 

Penny (Mrs. Frank). A MIXED MAR- 
AGE. 

Phillpotts (Eden). THE STRIKING 
HOURS. 

FANCY FREE. 

Pryce (Richard). TIME AND THE 
WOMAN. 

Randall (John). AUNT BETHIA'S 
BUTTON. 

Raymond (Walter). FORTUNE'S DAR- 
LING. 

Rayner (Olive Pratt). ROSALBA. 

Rhys (Grace). THE DIVERTED VIL- 
LAGE. 

Rickert (Edith). OUT OF THE CYPRESS 
SWAMP. 

Roberton(M. H.). A G.^LLANT QUAKER. 

Russell, (W. Clark). ABANDONED. 

Saunders (Marshall). ROSE A CHAR- 
LITTE. 

Sergeant (Adeline). ACCUSED AND 
ACCUSER. 

BARBARA'S MONEY. 

THE ENTHUSIAST. 

A GREAT LADY. 

THE LOVE THAT OVERCAME. 

THE MASTER OF BEECHWOOD. 

UNDER SUSPICION. 

THE YELLOW DIAMOND. 

THE MYSTERY OF THE MO.AT. 

Shannon (W. F.). JIM TWELVES. 

Stephens (R. N.). AN ENEMY OF THE 
KING. 

Strain (E. H.). ELMSLIE'SDRAG NET. 

Stringer (Arthur). THE SILVER POPPY. 

Stuart (Esmfe). CHRISTALLA. 

A WOMAN OF FORTY. 

Sutherland (Duchess of). ONE HOUR 
AND THE NEXT. 

Swan (Annie). LOVE GROWN COLD. 

Swift (Benjamin). SORDON. 

SIREN CITY. 

Tanqueray (Mrs. B. M.). THE ROYAL 
QUAKER. 

Thompson (Vance). SPINNERS OF 
LIFE. 

Trafford-Taunton (Mrs. E.W.). SILENT 
DOMINION. 

Upward (Allen). ATHELSTANE FORD. 

Waineman(Paul). A HEROINE FROM 
FINLAND. 

BY A FINNISH LAKE. 

Watson (H. B. Marriott). THE SKIRTS 
OF HAPPY CHANCE. 

' Zack.' TALES OF DUNSTABLE WEIR. 



Fiction 



39 



The Getting Well of Dorothy. By Mrs. 

W. K. Clifford. Second Edition. 
Only a Guard-Room Dog. By Edith E. 

Cathell. 
The Doctor of the Juliet. By Harry 

Collingwood. 
Little Peter. By Lucas Malet. Second 

Edition. 
Master Rockafellar's Voyage. By W. 

Clark Russell. Third Edifion. 
The Secret of Madame de Monluc. By 

the Author of " Mdlle. Mori." 



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Second Edition. 
Hepsy Gipsy. By L. T. Meade. 2^. dd. 
The Honourable Miss. By L. T. Meade. 

Second Edition. 
There was once a Prince. By Mrs. M. E. 

Mann. 
When Arnold comes Home. By Mrs. M. E. 

Mann. 



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The Adventures of Captain Pamphile. 

Amaury. 

The Bird of Fate. 

The Black Tulip. 

The Castle of Eppstein. 

Catherine Blum. 

Cecile. 

The Chevalier D'Harmental. Double 

volume. 
Chicot the Jester. Being the first part of 

The Lady of Monsoreau. 
Conscience. 
The Convict's Son. 
The Corsican Brothers ; and Otho the 

Archer. 
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The Fencing Master. 
Fernande. 
Gabriel Lambert. 
Georges. 
The Great Massacre 

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Henri de Navarre. 

of Queen Margot. 



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part of The Vicomte de Bragelonne. 

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the second part of The Vicomte ds 

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The Reminiscences of Antony. 
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The Snowball and Sultanetta. 
svlvandire. 

Tales of the Supernatural. 
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volume. 
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LOVE AND LOUISA, i THE MUTABLE MANY. 
Benson (E. F.)- DODO. 
Bronte (Charlotte). SHIRLEY. 
Brownell (C. L.). THE HEART OF 
JAPAN. 

Burton (J. Bloundelle). ACROSS THE 



AlbanesKE. M.), 
Austen (Jane). 

JUDICE. 
Bagot (Richard). A ROMAN MYSTERY. 
Balfour (Andrew). BY STROKE OF 

SWORD. 
Baring-Qould (S.). FURZE BLOOM. 
CHEAP JACK ZITA. 
KITTY ALONE. 
URITH. 

THE BROOM SQUIRE. 
IN THE ROAR OF THE SEA. 
NOEMI. 

A BOOK OF FAIRY TALES. Illustrated. 
LITTLE TU'PENNV. 
THE FROBISHERS. 
WINEFRED. 
Barr (Robert). JENNIE BAXTER, 

JOURNALIST. 
IN THE MIDST OF ALARMS. 
THE COUNTESS TEKLA. 



SALT SEAS. 
Caffyn (Mrs). , (' Iota'). 
VERER. 



ANNE MAULE- 



Capes (Bernard). 

WINE. 



THE LAKE OF 



Clifford (Mrs. W. K.). A FLASH OF 

SUMMER. 
MRS. KEITH'S CRIME. 
Corbett (Julian). A BUSINESS IN 

GREAT WATERS. 
Croker (Mrs. B. M.). PEGGY OF THE 

BARTONS. 
A STATE SECRET. 



40 



Messrs. Methuen's Catalogue 



ANGEL, 

JOHANNA, 

Dante (AUghleri). THE VISION OF 

DANTE (Gary). 
Doyle (A. Conan). ROUND THE RED 

LAMP. 
Duncan (Sara Jeannette). A VOYAGE 

OF CONSOLATION. 
THOSE DELIGHTFUL AMERICANS. 
EHot (aeorge). THE MILL ON THE 

FLOSS. 
Findlater (Jane H.). THE GREEN 

GRAVES OF BALGOWRIE. 
Gallon (Tom). RICKERBY'S FOLLY. 
QaskelKMrs.). CRANFORD. 
MARY BARTON. 
NORTH AND SOUTH. 
Gerard (Dorothea). HOLY MATRI- 

MONY. 
THE CONQUEST OF LONDON. 
MADE OF MONEY. 
Qissing (George). THE TOWN TRAVEL- 

LER. 
THE CROWN OF LIFE. 
Olanville (Ernest). THE I N C A ' S 

TREASURE. 
THE KLOOF BRIDE. 
Glelg (Charles). HUNTER'S CRUISE. 
Grimm (The Brothers). GRIMM'S 

FAIRY TALES. Illustrated. 
Hope (Anthony). A MAN OF MARK. 
A CHANGE OF AIR. 
THE CHRONICLES OF COUNT 

ANTONIO. 
PHROSO. 

THE DOLLY DIALOGUES. 
Hornung (E. W.). DEAD MEN TELL 

NO TALES. 
Ingraham (J. H.). THE THRONE OF 

DAVID. 
LeQueux(W.), THE HUNCHBACK OF 

WESTMINSTER. 
Levett- Yeats (S. K.). THE TRAITOR'S 

WAY, 
Linton (E. Lynn). THE TRUE HIS- 
TORY OF JOSHUA DAVIDSON. 
Lyall(Edna). DERRICK VAUGHAN. 
Alalet (Lucas). THE CARISSIMA. 
A COUNSEL OF PERFECTION. 
Mann (Mrs. M. E.). MRS. PETER 

HOWARD. 
A LOST ESTATE. 
THE CEDAR STAR. 
ONE ANOTHER'S BURDENS. 
Marchmont (A. W.). MISER HOAD- 

LEVS SECRET. 
A MOMENT'S ERROR. 
Marryat (Captain). PETER SIMPLE. 
JACOB FAITHFUL. 
Marsh (Richard). THE TWICKENHAM 

PEER.'VGE. 
THE GODDESS. 



THE TOSS, 

A METAMORPHOSIS. 

Mason (A. E. W.). CLEMENTINA. 

Mathers (Helen). HONEY. 

GRIFF OF GRIFFITHSCOURT. 

SAM'S SWEETHEART. 

Meade (Mrs. L. T.). DRIFT. 

Mltford (Bertram). THE SIGN OF THE 
SPIDER. 

Montresor (F. F.). THE ALIEN. 

Morrison (Arthur). THE HOLE IN 
THE WALL. 

Nesbit(E,). THE RED HOUSE. 

Norri8(W. E.). HIS GRACE. 

GILES INGILBY. 

THE CREDIT OF THE COUNTY. 

LORD LEONARD, 

MATTHEW AUSTIN. 

CLARISSA FURICSA. 

Ollphant (Mrs,), THE LADY'S WALK. 

SIR ROBERT'S FORTUNE. 

THE PRODIGALS. 

Oppenhelm (E. PhiUips). MASTER OF 
MEN. 

Parker (Gilbert). THE POMP OF THE 
LAVILETTES. ' 

WHEN VALMOND CAME TO PONTL\C. 

THE TRAIL OF THE SWORD. 

Pemberton (Max). THE FOOTSTEPS 
OF A THRONE. 

I CROWN THEE KING. 

Phlilpotts (Eden\ THE HUMAN BOY. 

CHILDREN OF THE MIST. 

'Q.' THE WHITE WOLF. 

Ridge (W.Pett). A SON OF THE STATE. 

LOST PROPERTY. 

GEORGE AND THE GENERAL. 

Russell (W. Clark). A MARRIAGE AT 

SEA. 
ABANDONED. 
MY D.A.NISH SWEETHEART. 

HIS ISLAND PRINCESS. 

Sergeant (Adeline) THE MASTER OF 

BEECHWOOD. 
BARB.\RA'S MONEY. 
THE YELLOW DIAMOND. 
THE LOVE THAT OVERCAME. 
Surtees (R. S.). H.\NDLEY CROSS. 

Illustrated. 
MR. SPONGE'S SPORTING TOUR. 

Illustrated. 
ASK MAMMA. Illustrated. 
Walford(Mrs. L. B.). .MR. SMITH. 
COUSINS. 

THE BABY'S GRANDMOTHER. 
Wallace (General Lew), BEN-HUR. 
THE FAIR GOD. 
Watson (H. B. Marriot). THE ADVKN. 

TURKRS. 
Weekes(A. B.). PRISONERS OF WAR. 
White (Percy). A PASSIONATE 
PILGRIM, 



SF Tozer, Basil 

2B3 The horse in history 

T68 

BLoMed 



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